Transport: Somerset

Department for Transport written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial counterparts on ensuring that road and rail links through Somerset are protected by stronger flood defences and mitigation measures.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department for Transport continues to meet regularly with Somerset County Council to discuss a number of issues related to transport, including resilience. The Minister with responsibility for roads, my Hon Friend, the Hon Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Andrew Jones), recently sent a letter to all local highway authorities in England with respect to this including reminding councils of their duties in respect to clearing drains and gullies to prevent the risk of surface water flooding on the local road network . In addition the Department for Transport provided over £22 million, as part of the Government response to the flood events of 2013/14 and the Somerset Flood Action Plan. This funding helped in raising the main road into Muchelney and also installing four culverts at Beer Wall to reduce the risks of flooding and local communities being cut-off in the future.

Following flooding incidents in 2012-14,Network Rail iscurrently implementing a £31million package of schemes to improve the resilience of the Great Western route through the Thames Valley and the West of England. Work has already been completed at Whiteball Tunnel, near Taunton.

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