A COLLAPSED wall along the River Parrett will continue to cause disruption for “an extended period” according to the incident’s leading authority.

Following heavy rainfall, a 40metre stretch of the wall on West Quay in Bridgwater collapsed into the river yesterday afternoon.

The surrounding area - including West Quay, East Quay, Fore Street, part of Eastover, Castle Street and the town bridge – were closed as firefighters and police cordoned off the roads.

People leaving in nearby property were evacuated for safety.

Three authorities - Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency - are now working together to resolve the problem.

Together, they will initially work to stabilise the material behind the failing wall, then will seek a “permanent” solution, which is the reconstruction of this flood defence wall.

The material behind the wall contains water, gas, electricity and sewers. These complicate all phases of the reconstruction and the three authorities are working closely with the utility companies.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “It is clear the collapsing wall has caused considerable disruption and will continue to do so for an extended period.”

The wall has been displaced outwards by five metres from its original line for a length of 20-30m.

Underground services have been significantly damaged or disrupted with several pipelines severed or damaged.

The highway surfacing is significantly unstable with parts of it lost.