Axbridge and Cheddar

This map shows all the road, watercourse and public right of ways this scheme will affect. Zoom in to the area of interest to you and find out what is happening when. Click the icon to find out basic information or read below for a more detailed description.

You can also follow progress on Facebook, Facebook posts will update you with details of when work will start in your area giving you the most up to date information.

The work current planned for Axbridge and Cheddar forms part of a new £27 million water infrastructure project that will secure the supply to 280,000 people across Somerset. 30km of water main will be installed between Barrow Gurney and Cheddar, via Banwell, leaving thousands with a better more reliable water supply. With the population of Somerset predicted to boom over the coming years this new infrastructure will also cater for the increase in demand.

280,000 people will have a much more secure water supply once the scheme is complete. What this means is Bristol water will be able to get water to the areas such as Cheddar, Banwell, Burnham, Weston-super-Mare and Glastonbury through more than one route. So if there is a burst main leaving you without water Bristol Water can switch to the second main keeping you in water.

The Latest

Planning permission has now been granted by both North Somerset Council and Sedgemoor District Council. There are certain pre-commencement conditions on the permission relating to newt protection and highways design around the compounds.

It is likely that work will commence in Sedgemoor shortly.

Public meetings will be held at the below dates:

Axbridge Town Hall – 12 September at 7:30pm

Cheddar Parish Hall – 27 September at 7:30 (as part of the full Parish Council meeting)

Exactly what is happening between Axbridge and Cheddar?

The main will leave the Strawberry Line Cycle Way by Shute Shelve tunnel and head across the A38, which is likely to require traffic lights. The pipeline then heads over Cross Lane before starting to follow the A371 for 1.2km. The Cross Lane work will require a closure whilst the A371 work will require two way traffic lights. Unfortunately we cannot lay the main in the verge of the A371 as there are already gas mains there. Therefore we will need to dig a trench along to carriageway to lay the main.
The pipeline then heads back into fields before following the Strawberry Line Cycle Way by Cheddar Reservoir. This will involve a safe diversion of the cycle way being in place. The main then heads into Cheddar Treatment works where it ends. Work in Axbridge and Cheddar will be done outside of the summer season.


The schedule for the project is still being worked out. At this stage we cannot say when we will between Axbridge and Cheddar. The deadline for the overall project is March 2018.

How did we pick this route? 

The route of the main was narrowed down from eight possible options. The scheme has been designed with the impact on the environment and customers at the forefront as well trying to find the best engineering solutions. There were many obstacles in the way including the airport, many ancient woodlands and of course the Mendip hills which have to be avoided, restricting the possible route options. The final route also minimises the impact on major commuter’s route such as the A38 and A370.

One of the biggest engineering accomplishments of the scheme is the ability to use gravity, rather than pumping, to get water from Barrow all the way to Cheddar. This dramatically reduces the energy usage and means the pumping station in Barrow Gurney does not need to be upgraded. This also keeps the running costs of the main lower once in operation.

The impact on the environment has been at the centre of the design work. The area is rich in biodiversity ranging from Dormice, Great Crested Newts, Bats as well as a range of plant life. Bristol Water aim to leave all sites involved in the project in a better environmental position than at the start. To do this they have designed a Biodiversity Index Score system, which was trialled at a few schemes between 2010 and 2015, included the construction of the Millmarsh Reservoir near Frome. The scheme won a Green Apple Award in 2015 for environmental best practise. Any hedges that need to be felled during the scheme will be kept to 7m gaps as to not disrupt bat navigation routes. The work will also be taking place outside of the bird breeding season to minimise the impact.

Contact details

If you wish to receive regular email updates on this project please email

If you have any questions please email Caroline Glanville at

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