Why is the Crowcombe – Stowey Road in Such a State?

Over a month ago we wrote to County Highways about the deteriorating condition of the road across the Quantocks between Nether Stowey and Crowcombe. We still await a reply. 

As we all know, the metalled surfaces are broken down at the edges and passing places on the grassy verges have got bigger and become increasingly pot-holed, leading to further expansion as road users quite reasonably seek to avoid the cratered surface.

This is ugly and inexcusable in a beautiful landscape and it can only get worse as traffic increases and vehicles get ever bigger. 

We do not want a widened road with two clear lanes because that too would be unsightly and mean much faster and noisier traffic, a danger to the Commoners’ livestock and ponies and probably an overall increase in vehicle numbers, with effects on Crowcombe, Over Stowey and Nether Stowey too. What we want are properly surfaced passing bays, well sited so that drivers can safely move from one to the next in sequence but not at speed. 

This needs careful design and, in fact, that was done twenty years ago in 2003, when the AONB Service commissioned Atkins to undertake a study to assess the requirement for metalled passing bays and identify suitable locations for them. But it was down to County to implement it so it was never done and now the requirement for action is much greater than it was then. 

We know there are a lot of demands on County Highways and that it is never adequately funded but we believe that this important road has been neglected for too long and we will continue to press for a sensible and long-term solution.