Major route to Bristol to close for FIVE DAYS for tree work

The A369 will be closed at Rownham Hill

The A369 will be closed at Rownham Hill - Credit: NSC

A major route in and out of Bristol from North Somerset is closing for five days.

The A369 at Abbots Leigh is set to close from Monday, April 25, to allow North Somerset Council (NSC) to fell a number of diseased ash trees.

No traffic will be allowed to pass in either direction at Rownham Hill, a major route into and out of Bristol, between 9.30am and 3.30pm each day from April 25 to Friday, April 29. 

Marshalls will be present to allow access to residents and businesses only.

Diversion routes will be in place by connecting the A369 to the A370 using the B3129 (Beggar Bush Lane) near Failand and the B3129 (Clevedon Road) near Long Ashton. The public is asked to follow diversion signage.

The work is being carried out due to Ash Dieback, a fungal disease which is often fatal. A rapid decline in the health of these trees means that urgent action is needed to remove them for safety reasons, NSC said.

Councillor Mike Solomon, NSC's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: "Ash Dieback is now a national problem. Unfortunately, there is no way of stopping the disease and it's feared it may affect up to 90 per cent of ash trees in Britain.

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"We carried out a survey of all our ash trees in North Somerset last year and are now working on an Ash Dieback action plan. 

"This sets out how we will deal with the issue in North Somerset, including replanting in areas where we have had to remove infected trees. 

"In the meantime, these trees alongside the busy A369 have been identified by our tree officers as unsafe. As they pose a danger to road users, they require urgent removal. 

"Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, we are unfortunately not able to restrict the removal of dangerous trees to outside the bird-nesting season as work needs to take place all year round to deal with the problem. 

"I’m reassured however that an ecologist will be on site throughout the works to make sure no harm is caused to wildlife, particularly birds.

"We don’t take closure of such a main road lightly as we realise the inconvenience and disruption that it inevitably causes. Every effort is being made to carry out the works on time and we will communicate updates through the council’s social media channels."

The road closure is in place for all motorised and non-motorised traffic, including cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.