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A39 partially closed as diseased ash trees are removed

THE highways team at Somerset County Council is continuing work to remove diseased and dangerous ash trees from roadsides.

The latest safety scheme, on the Polden Hills section of the A39 Bath Road between the Crandon Bridge traffic signals at Bawdrip and the A361 Pipers Inn junction at Ashcott, will take place across two weeks.

Work started today and will continue between 9am and 3.30pm each day until Friday, April 30. The road will be re-opened to traffic outside these times and during the weekend of April 24-25.

The operation will see a number of dead or diseased trees affected by ash dieback removed. The fungus, otherwise known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a national problem expected to kill or seriously damage over 95 per cent of the nation’s ash trees.

Thousands of trees have been felled across the county over the last 12 months – including recently on Plummer’s Lane (B3135) near Cheddar and at A39 Bristol Hill near Wells.

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “Since ash dieback was first discovered in the county nine years ago, we’ve been working hard to keep our roads safe.

We plan proactive work to remove these trees and prevent them becoming a hazard to road users.

“It is a real shame to lose more beautiful trees in our county, but the safety of the public has to come first – this is a national problem affecting all Local Authorities across the UK.”

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