More than £6m from the cancelled leg of the High Speed 2 rail project will be spent on improving Somerset’s roads over the next 12 months.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP announced the cancellation of the high-speed link between Birmingham and Manchester in October 2023, with the funding being reallocated to other transport projects across the UK.

Some of the money is being provided to Somerset Council for road improvement schemes – including resurfacing work and fixing potholes.

The council has now confirmed several schemes which will be going ahead as a result of this funding, with further details expected to be announced in due course.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper MP announced in mid-November 2023 that, as a result of the HS2 decision, an extra £800m would be spent on road repairs across the South West.

This funding will be divided across local authorities across the region, with Somerset Council receiving more than £3.5m of additional funding for 2023/24 and 2024/25.

The council commented at the time that this additional funding would only have a “minimal” impact due to high inflation within the construction industry.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt MP announced in his 2023 budget that the council would be provided with nearly £5m of additional highway maintenance and pothole repair funding.

£4,543,000 was spent before April 2024. £2m was allocated for pothole repairs, with more than 16,800 being fixed across the county.

A total of £517,159 was targeted at resurfacing the most potholed roads in the county, including the B3090 Marston Road and Selwood Road in Frome, with a further £273,645 being spent on patching work in areas with multiple potholes nearby.

An additional £1,336,896 was spent on “structural maintenance surfacing work”, including at the A37 Whitstone Road in Shepton Mallet.

Of the £6,092,000 of additional funding made available to the council for the next 12 months, £1,472,000 will be spent specifically on resurfacing schemes.

A further £3.5m will be divided between three schemes to upgrade traffic signals at key junctions in the former Mendip district, £1.5m of which will be spent on the junction of the A37 Whitstone Road and the A361 Charlton Road in Shepton Mallet (near the eastern terminus of the Strawberry Line).

A spokesman said: “This funding enables a resilient and well-maintained road network for routes between areas of economic activity to support the movement of goods and people with associated economic growth and prosperity.

“It reduces the likelihood of damage to vehicles or other harm arising from safety defects.

“The funding also offsets the impact of construction industry inflation (currently at around five per cent), enabling schemes to proceed that would otherwise have been deferred to later years.”

Further details of the confirmed roadworks, including details of any road closures and diversions, will be confirmed in due course on the council’s official roadworks portal, which can be viewed by visiting