Road to Cheddar Gorge closes tonight for duration of Bank Holiday weekend

Cheddar Gorge. Picture: Love Weston

Cheddar Gorge. Picture: Love Weston - Credit: Archant

The road leading to Cheddar Gorge will close again at the weekend following a rise in vehicles visiting the beauty spot.

The move comes after the B3135 closed last weekend due to vehicles travelling from as far as 60 miles away to visit the Gorge, which sparked fears in the community about the spread of coronavirus.

Since the road was reopened last Monday, vehicles have again travelled ‘unnecessarily’ to area, including one visiting from 100 miles away.

Police and Somerset County Council have now agreed the shut the road from 6pm today (Thursday) until 8am on Monday.

The closure bans all motor traffic from driving through the Gorge, but cyclists and walkers local to the village will still be able to visit the area.

Police will also be out patrolling the Gorge and the authority’s highways contractor Skanska will check barriers put up at either end of the road throughout the weekend to make sure they remain in place.

Cabinet member for highways and transport at the council, councillor John Woodman, said: “With fine weather forecast for the Bank Holiday, there are concerns that some irresponsible drivers may decide to head to Cheddar Gorge.

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“Public safety is our priority. With our police partners we reviewed last weekend’s closure and know it was welcomed by residents and the great majority of people understand the need to stay at home and save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Superintendent Mike Prior said the closure last weekend was ‘warmly supported by the community’ which the force is ‘determined to keep safe’ during the pandemic.

Mike added: “Regrettably, following the lifting of restrictions on Monday, there were instances of people travelling again unnecessarily, one from more than 100 miles away.

“This bank holiday weekend, we want to avoid seeing a large number of cars parked again in the Gorge.

“Therefore, following a review of the closure’s impact, we are closing the road again over the next few days. This is not an action we take lightly or routinely.”

Anyone who witnesses an incident contrary to the Government’s guidelines should call 101.