Following severe flooding on the Somerset Levels in 2014, emergency road closure gates were installed at eight locations to help stop vehicles potentially getting stuck in flood waters.
The gates are kept locked open at all times and will only be locked shut when water levels are rising and the road is at risk of becoming impassable.
When will the gates be shut?
The emergency road closure gates will only be locked shut when the road is impassable or at risk of becoming impassable. They will only be closed during daylight hours. This means gates may be shut before a road becomes flooded if there is a risk it will become flooded overnight.
All decisions are made to help keep people safe following advice from the emergency services or the Environment Agency.
Once water levels have reduced, we will return to inspect the road and reopen the gates as soon as it is safe to do so.
How will I know if the gates are shut or open?
The emergency road closure gates should always be locked open unless the road is flooded or likely to become flooded.
When gates are closed or reopened, we will keep people up to date via @TravelSomerset on Twitter. We will also do our best to keep this webpage updated.
Why are the gates locked?
The emergency road closure gates are locked in position, either open or shut, to help keep people safe by reducing the risk of the gates being left in the wrong position. If the gates are left open when the road is flooded this could have serious consequences, while if the gates are shut when the road is not flooded this could cause confusion and unnecessary disruption.
How do I open a locked road closure gate?
If the emergency road closure gates are locked shut then it is for safety reasons and they should only be opened by authorised people. These include Somerset Council highways staff, the emergency services and the Environment Agency, as well as a small number of local people who require essential access.
If you require access via any of the gates or believe that you might in future please contact us as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2224 or emailing RoadClosureGates@somerset.gov.uk.
If you need to unlock a gate in an emergency situation, always dial 999.
What happens if a gate is not locked?
Emergency road closure gates should always be locked, either locked open or locked shut. If you find an open or shut gate which is unlocked, please contact us asap by calling 0300 123 2224 or by emailing RoadClosureGates@somerset.gov.uk.
I’m happy to take my chances and drive through floodwater – can I have the code to open the gates?
No. The emergency road closure gates are in place to keep people safe by stopping them from driving on roads which may be extremely dangerous. Even if you are happy to risk your life driving through floodwater, we cannot support this.
Please remember that driving in floodwater is extremely dangerous and vehicles can be swept away in just two feet of water. The water may be deeper than it looks and faster moving, and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains or debris beneath the surface. Ignoring a road closure sign or gate can also invalidate your insurance.
Only authorised people who require essential access can open road closure gates. We apologise if this causes inconvenience, but any decision will have to be made to help keep the public safe. Please be patient and seek an alternative route. The gates will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.