Somerset County Council

A39/A358 Emergency Diversionary Routes (Operation Wader)


Somerset County Council has implemented a scheme on various routes in West Somerset and Sedgemoor that will provide signage to indicate the diversionary route should either the A39 or A358 be closed, for longer than two hours, in the event of an accident or emergency.  The Police will be responsible for the activation and operation of a route, which includes providing manpower to designated points. 

This scheme has been named as Operation Wader. 

This signage will provide a pre-planned route for light vehicles unable to continue along the main routes with the aim of minimising the amount of congestion that currently occurs.  Due to height and weight restrictions in place along a number of routes, heavy and long vehicles will be stacked by the Police immediately inside the closure, another appropriate location, or diverted using the existing lorry route (A38/B3190). 

Work was undertaken on this project between representatives of Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset and Devon Fire Authority, West Somerset Strategic Partnership and The National Trust.  

This scheme was then requested for funding under the Council's Small Improvement Schemes programme by the four West Somerset County Council Members at the time. 

There are now routes mapped and signed in the event of a closure on the A39 between Minehead and Oare; Dunster to Washford Cross; Washford Cross to Williton; Williton to Keenthorne; Keenthorne to Bridgwater; Bishops Lydeard to Williton and diversions in the vicinity of Minehead.

You can view plans for each route in the Information and resources section.

How to contact us 

Engineering Programme Team
Somerset County Council
County Hall

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