Gorge road to close for November

THE gorge road in Cheddar is set to close for a month to prevent rocks falling on cars. A specialist team from Cheddar Caves will scale the cliffs opposite the road and dislodge loose boulders between November 2-30. Experts fear that rocks could crush car

THE gorge road in Cheddar is set to close for a month to prevent rocks falling on cars.A specialist team from Cheddar Caves will scale the cliffs opposite the road and dislodge loose boulders between November 2-30.Experts fear that rocks could crush cars if they come loose and fall the 450ft to the bottom.Surveys have identified loose rocks that could fall and the team will use climbing equipment to force them onto the road.Somerset County Council highways department is relaying parts of the B3135 while the work is carried out.It is the first time in eight years that the road has been closed for maintenance work.Fears have been raised that minor roads in Draycott and Cheddar will be used as rat runs with people trying to avoid the official diversion.District councillor Jeff Savage said: "I would think the highways department should monitor the situation of other roads and carry out work if it needs it after the gorge road is re-opened. The road has been closed before and I hope people follow the proper diversions rather than use minor roads as rat runs."The main problem areas have been identified as above Gough's Cave and the Blackrock gorge.Traders at the bottom end of the gorge are keen to remind people that they will be open as usual during the road closure.Bob Smart of Cheddar Caves said: "There will be proper diversions in place and there are other routes that people use instead of the gorge road."The rocks are mostly small stuff, but if it falls 450ft it could easily kill someone or even crush a car."Our team has been specially trained due to the heights involved and it does take a long time to make sure the cliffs are clear. People will be still able to get to the shops at the lower end of the gorge, but not drive along the whole road.


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