|Location Map ( geo)|
|Signalised T Junction|
The Junction at Crandon Bridge has long been an important one, as this was the historic split between the Bristol and Bath Roads out of Bridgwater. It was not until the mid 19th Century that the new Bristol Road (now the A38) was built from Bridgwater to Dunball, prior to that traffic used the Bath Road, which was less prone to blockage by mud and floods. For over a century, therefore, the junctions importance dwindled, until the opening of the M5 as far as the Dunball Interchange. At this point, the need for a link to the A39 to keep traffic for Glastonbury, Wells and beyond out of the already congested Bridgwater was desirable, and so with some new construction to bypass Puriton, the old road regained its importance.
Today, the junction is perhaps unusual in that all three arms are the A39. The new spur past Puriton to the motorway, whilst being the primary route from central Somerset, originally had to give way to the main route into Bridgwater. This created conflict in traffic movements and made the junction a notorious accident spot. Various changes were made, such as increasing the length of the turning lanes, implementing a 40 limit and warning signs, but finally in c2011 traffic lights were installed to control the traffic. Perhaps curiously this has led to the road markings being redone to give apparent priority to the primary route!
The junction, rather obviously perhaps, takes its name from the bridge over the Kings Sedgemoor Drain, which is crossed immediately to the south of the junction on the road into Bridgwater. Again, this is a historic bridging point which appears to date back to Roman Times, when the Roman Road along the Poldens dropped to a port at sea level here. However, as the Kings Sedgemoor Drain was only cut in the 1790s as part of a flood relief scheme to the Levels, the bridge here must have crossed a pre-existing channel. The bridge we see today is, however, much newer, appearing to date from the 1950s in style. It is a single span concrete deck with stone parapets, carrying 3 lanes of traffic across the channel.