Saturday, 30 Sep 2023

Pretty UK village besieged by flooding horror is now set for weeks of havoc

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Earlier this year, parts of Somerset suffered horror floods which led to families being evacuated by the fire service, and now one village is going to have to contend with road closures for over a month. 

Intense thunderstorms led to floods in Devon and certain areas of Somerset earlier in the year, numerous villages situated along the course of the River Cam in East Somerset have encountered flooding, prompting the evacuation of certain properties by the fire service. 

The substantial rainfall also affected portions of East Devon, causing flooding in localities such as Newton Poppleford, Tipton St John, and Collaton Raleigh. Additionally, the region witnessed widespread disturbances to roadways and travel.

And now, one road – the B3222 – in Exebridge, will undergo a five-week closure to facilitate essential drainage maintenance – leaving residents to battle traffic for five days a week.

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The quaint village situated at the juncture of Somerset and Devon counties, rests close to where the Rivers Exe and Barle meet. The village derives its name from an 18th-century stone bridge that spans the River Exe.

Somerset Council executive lead member for transport and digital Councillor Mike Rigby said: “The second phase of this drainage repair scheme on the B3222 being completed will be of great long-term benefit to the road, and all road users in the area. 

“The scheme has been designed to minimise disruption where possible, but we appreciate that there will be some short-term delays.”

Crossing the River Exe, where it serves as the boundary between counties, stands a bridge of historical significance, designated as Grade-II listed. 

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While a medieval bridge once occupied this spot, the current bridge was erected during the early Georgian era. In 1694, as the medieval bridge deteriorated, the responsibility for its restoration fell upon locals of the Somerset bank. 

The 18th-century bridge underwent modifications in 1853 and was rejuvenated in 1929. Later in the 20th century, the parapets were reconstructed. Constructed from local rubble, the bridge showcases three semi-circular arches complemented by a discreet cutwater on its downstream face.

The road closure on the B3222 in Exbridge up to the junction with Riphay Cross is due to start on September 11 and last until October 20 and will be closed between 9am and 3pm on weekdays for the work to be completed. 

Temporary traffic signals will be in use outside the hours of closure.

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