LONG-running roadworks on the Devon-Somerset border will continue over the Christmas holidays after a much-needed repair scheme was postponed.

Since July 2021, motorists travelling on the A30 have had to contend with temporary lights at Crawley Farm, located between Chard and Yarcombe.

The lights were installed by Devon County Council following a landslip which threatened the eastbound carriageway, with motorists facing delays of several minutes ever since.

The council confirmed in April that it would be finally removing the lights and repairing the road in the autumn, committing around £400,000 to the project.

But the council has now pushed back the scheme to early-January 2024, meaning motorists will have to endure continuing delays over Christmas and the new year period.

The A30 serves as the main road between Chard and Honiton, as well as providing a crucial diversionary route when the A303 around Ilminster is congested.

Chard & Ilminster News: Roadworks on the A30.Roadworks on the A30. (Image: Daniel Mumby)

It also provides one of the main thoroughfares through the Blackdown Hills national landscape (formerly area of outstanding natural beauty, or AONB), with the closed section being in close proximity to both the Ferne Animal Sanctuary and the popular South Somerset Holiday Park.

The council’s official roadworks portal indicates that the work to reopen the road will now get under way on January 8, 2024 with the scheme being completed and the lights removed by March 15.

A spokesman said: “The work is to be completed predominantly under two-way traffic lights.

“Road closures required for certain activities during the works. These are likely to be for a couple of days at a time (possibly up to a week) and the public are to be notified in advance.”

The council stated in April that the road closure had been necessary to prevent traffic heading into Somerset from weakening the bank further, which could put motorists, pedestrians and the nearby farm at risk.

A spokesman said at the time: “A bank slip occurred at this location in July 2021. The traffic lights are in place to keep people safe by ensuring they don’t get too close to the failed edge when travelling past.

“This also ensures that the weight of traffic doesn’t cause the unstable bank to slip further.

“The delay in completing the work has mainly been caused by site difficulties and constraints including overhead cables, access issues, and proximity to the farm and livestock.

“A number of alternative designs have been explored but unfortunately haven’t been viable due to difficulties in either working from the road and requiring a full road closure, or getting large machinery in and working from the farm below.”