EMERGENCY work was continuing today to repair a gas leak which forced the closure of a major route through Taunton after engineers spent all night at the scene.

They were able to locate and fix one leak in Bridge Street and also identified the location of a second pipe rupture.

Work to fix the second leak was ongoing, meaning there were open excavations in both footways, outside the Coal Orchard and in the westbound side of the carriageway.

Access was being maintained for pedestrians and for shop fronts, but traffic was restricted to inbound travel only.

A Somerset Council spokesman said this morning: “This is to ensure the safety of both the public and the workforce.

“Additional signage has been placed at key junctions to divert road users to alternative routes.

“We hope works are completed today or tomorrow, within the next day or two, and returned to normal use over the weekend.

“We appreciate your patience during this time.”

One couple who arrived by train in Taunton yesterday afternoon to spend a few days visiting family in Wellington said their taxi took 45 minutes to take them from the railway station to the bus stop in Castle Way because of traffic congestion caused by the road closure.

Wales and West Utilities described the work as ‘a complex job’ and said its engineers were ‘working as safely and as quickly as possible’ to carry out the repairs.

It said it was constantly monitoring the leaks during the work.