|Location Map ( geo)|
Dunball Roundabout connects the A38 with the A39 Spur that passes through Dunball Interchange with the M5. The south eastern (A38) and north eastern (A39) arms are both dualled to provide Bridgwater with easy access to the M5, while the northern arm of the A38 is S2. There is also a western turning providing access to an animal feeds factory and Dunball Wharf on the River Parrett.
|Pawlett, West Huntspill, Highbridge, Vehicle Auction Centre|
|Bridgwater, Minehead (A39)|
|Glastonbury, Motorway M5, Puriton, Woolalvington|
Dunball Roundabout was constructed in the early 1970s as part of a large scheme to connect Bridgwater to the new M5. The route between Downend and Crandon Bridge had long been used as a link between the A38 and A39, so it was decided to construct the new Dunball Interchange near it so that both routes could access the M5.
This involved a new section of road through the new junction and then a short dualled road to the new Dunball Roundabout. This new road became a spur of the A39. At the same time, the A38 south to Bridgwater was dualled, with an often wide central reservation. As Bridgwater was, and indeed still is, an important industrial town these new roads were seen as essential in maintaining its industries by providing high quality links to the motorway network.
It was not just the roundabout and A39 spur that were constructed to improve Bridgwater's connections to the outside world however. 130 years earlier, the A38's predecessor was the Bridgwater - Bristol Turnpike. It would have originally forked off the Bath Road at Crandon Bridge to cross to Pawlett. However, this route was often flooded and almost impassable for the winter months, so the Turnpike Trust decided to construct a new route on a firm base along side the River Parrett.
The 'new' Bristol Road proved to be such a good route that the old Bath Road was almost ignored in the winter months, travellers preferring to take the longer but quicker route along the new road, before turning right at Downend to follow the Polden Ridge and so avoid the treacherous crossing of Horsey Level.