Road closures that affect two of the main routes from Combe Martin to Barnstaple are set to continue for two weeks longer than expected.

Devon County Council says work to stabilise an embankment on the A399 above Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park will continue longer than scheduled as a larger section needs stabilising than first thought.

It is a double whammy to village traffic, as the other usual route via Muddiford is also blocked for 10 weeks while work continues on the B3230 near Blakewell.

The council says the A399 will reopen on November 9 under temporary traffic lights.

It said work to construct a new retaining wall to stabilise part of the B3230 near Blakewell is progressing well and on schedule to reopen on November 30.

The official diversion for people travelling from Combe Martin to Barnstaple is almost 20 miles one way. Picture: GoogleThe official diversion for people travelling from Combe Martin to Barnstaple is almost 20 miles one way. Picture: Google

The official diversion is via Ilfracombe and then to Barnstaple through Braunton, an around trip of almost 40 miles.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said: “Both schemes are vital and timed to avoid the peak summer season, while the B3230 Blakewell scheme was planned in consultation with local businesses.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we are doing everything we can to minimise any disruption.

“However the safety of road users is paramount, and these works are necessary to ensure this safety.

“The contractors are working as quickly as possible and the roads will be re-opened when the works are complete or reach a stage when it is safe to do so.”

Combe Martin county councillor Andrea Davis told the Gazette both schemes were critical and had to be done before winter.

Of the A399 she said: “It’s not great and I understand how inconvenient it will be while the works are on going.

“I admit I was not happy about the A399 works happening during the summer and neither were the parish council so unfortunately this is where we’ve ended up, so it’s done before the winter sets in. “These works are as a result of a landslip last winter after a period of heavy rainfall.”