Official diversion will be some 17 miles long when work begins on the Caen Street flood defences

Flooding on Caen Street in Braunton in 2012. Picture: Fiona KellyFlooding on Caen Street in Braunton in 2012. Picture: Fiona Kelly

An official diversion of some 17 miles will be in place when Caen Street in Braunton is closed for flood prevention work after Christmas.

Work will begin on January 9, although according to Braunton Parish Council, full closure of the road will not start until after half-term on February 20, for a period of six weeks.

During this period, the official Devon County Council (DCC) diversion will take people heading for Saunton Park up to Mullacott and then back through Croyde.

North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett said: "The police recognise that this will cause significant disruption to residents on the west side of the River Caen.

"While DCC is responsible for the official diversion, we are working with them to try and minimise the disruption to local traffic, but we would appreciate the patience and understanding of local road users throughout the period of disruption.

"Everyone recognises the need to do the work, but we are now just about to embark on the pain."

Traffic signals will be in place in Caen Street between January 9 and February 20.