A new traffic diversion system is piloted in Somerset

A new diversion system to cope with accidents or emergencies along the A39 and A358 is being piloted in Somerset.

Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset County Council are introducing the scheme to prevent villages becoming gridlocked following an accident.

Five new routes have been created around Minehead, Taunton and Bridgwater to divert traffic away from incidents which close roads for over an hour.

The first route being piloted is the A39 between Washford Cross to Dunster.

Insp Lisa Simpson, from Minehead Police Station, said: "The A39 is extremely narrow in places and being the main route to and from Minehead there can be high volume of traffic, which can become a real problem if there is an accident.

"Historically personal Sat Nav systems have also added to the problem, selecting alternative routes that are not always suitable, diverting motorists along narrow country lanes and through smaller villages sometimes resulting in larger vehicles becoming stuck - leaving villages gridlocked.

"I would appeal to everyone, residents and visitors alike, to follow the diversions."

Holding areas for HGVs and facilities for unloading livestock while delays are being cleared are also being investigated in both Minehead and Bridgwater.

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