BRIDGWATER ground to a halt as Taunton Road was closed for emergency roadworks last week.

However many were caught unawares as there had been little notice about the road closure, and it resulted in buses, lorries and many cars trying to get through Hamp.

Somerset County Councillor Leigh Redman said he was as surprised as any resident to come home and find the road closed, and said he was frustrated by the organisation and lack of notice.

“Normal practice is that the county councillor for a division where roadworks or diversions are required is notified of the plans,” Cllr Redman said.

“I was as surprised as all of you all were to see the ridiculous road closure that turned this side of town into a car park, as all traffic was being diverted through a small housing estate.

“I was appalled to see Hinkley C coaches including the double deckers, fully-loaded lorries and every other vehicle trying to get through Hamp.

“The normal evening parked cars were being used as chicanes, traffic was queued all the way from Showground Roundabout through the estate.

A spokesman for Highways told Cllr Redman that the works on Taunton Road were to ‘repair several safety defects which involved a large patch of resurfacing and required a temporary road closure’.

Cllr Redman said: “Highways responded to me saying they had been made aware of several issues with the planning and delivery of the works and was currently gathering information about the way the works were carried out.

“Just so I am clear, I agree the works looked like they needed to be done, my issue is that nobody was made aware, so that mitigation could have been put in place.

“With some notice businesses and residents could have made alternative arrangements, and a lot of inconvenience could have been avoided.”

"I am frustrated that Highways and their contractor let us all down."