A39 near Shirwell

This work will take place on the A39 near Shirwell, at the Zig-zag bends section, in order to stabilise the carriageway edge and resurface the road.

The scheme commenced on 2 January 2018 and the road will remain closed until the anticipated completion of 29 March 2018. The road will be closed 24 hrs a day.

Cracking and deformation of the road edge has been identified. This will progressively worsen over time, ultimately leading to a total failure of the embankment.

Diversion route

The official diversion route will be via the A39 to Barnstaple, the A361 to Aller Cross roundabout and the A39 via Blackmore Gate. This diversion route will be signed throughout the work.

We have a duty to direct traffic along a similar or higher classification of road to that being closed so that all vehicles, including large articulated vehicles, can safely navigate the diversion route.

Why do we have to close the road?

Whilst undertaking this work, we must ensure the safety of our workforce and the public at all times.

Due to constraints on working area and in line with our safety guidelines, we are unable to carry out this work without a road closure.

What are we doing?

  • Excavating some 3.5m deep adjacent to the carriageway.
  • Casting of a new mass concrete retaining wall to stabilise the road.
  • Improving the existing highway drainage system.
  • Constructing a new masonry parapet adjacent to the road edge.
  • Resurfacing the road along the extent of the works (approx. 60m length).
  • Resurfacing the road either side of the scheme (approx. 650m length).


The contractor carrying out this work is MacPlant Construction Ltd, tel 01288 362111.

If you require any further information please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0345 155 1004.