‘Catastrophic landslip’ fears mean A431 to stay closed at Kelston

klston feb 9 038The A431 at Kelston is a deathtrap and will remain closed for the foreseeable future, the council announced today.

The road was closed on Monday for investigations after the subsidence and ground movement caused by the intense rainfall in recent months got worse. And today it was revealed that the landslip near the gates of Kelston Park is worse than originally feared. It is still active and the ground is continuing to move, causing further cracks.

The road closure spells ongoing misery for motorists and people using buses, with a diversion via Keynsham and Saltford – both of which currently have roadworks. And with the schools returning after half-term next week, there are fears of long traffic delays.

A Bath & North East Somerset Council spokesman said: “The council is sparing no effort to establish exactly what underground damage is being caused by water moving deep underground and destabilising the road. Without understanding the exact path taken by the water, we are not in a position to resolve it in the long-term.

“We’ve deployed the latest state-of-the-art equipment, including CCTV, ground radar technology, expert geo-technical engineers and drilling rigs to gather intelligence about the geological characteristics underneath Kelston Road and the adjacent land.

jobs fair, somerdale, feb 21 029“We cannot risk public safety. The road will continue to be closed for the foreseeable future – this applies to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. There is the potential for a catastrophic landslip that could prove fatal to anyone in its path.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We understand the impact on people’s journeys. We are already in the process of considering the impacts on journey plans for public transport, especially in light of the end of half-term. We have placed temporary electronic road signs on approach to the closure to help inform the travelling public.”

Over the weekend, further investigations will be carried out to get more information about what is going on underground.