THE A303 is set to be shut overnight as a notorious crash hotspot receives long-awaited safety improvements.

The Ilminster Bypass witnessed a series of horrific crashes almost as soon as it opened, and while the number of fatal collisions has reduced since speed cameras were introduced, incidents on the road are still commonplace.

Five people were taken to hospital in March of this year after a multi-vehicle crash.

On April 1, 11 people were taken to hospital after a four-car pile-up, with two suffering serious injuries.

And the entire stretch was shut later that same month as a woman in her 60s was airlifted to hospital with ‘life-threatening’ injuries.

Now, the Ilminster Bypass is set to be closed overnight from July 15 to July 31.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “We’re installing upgraded road markings and enhanced signage along the A303 Ilminster Bypass in order to raise driver awareness and improve safety.

“Whilst working in the area, we will also take the opportunity to carry out layby maintenance.

“Please accept our apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The works will be carried out between 8pm and 6am, from Monday to Friday.

South Somerset MP Marcus Fysh has long campaigned for improved safety on the Ilminster Bypass.

He said: “I am really pleased to see action to make this stretch of road safer after some terrible accidents.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with the experts to understand the trends and causes of the collisions and I am really confident that improving driver awareness of the environment will make a big difference.

“Drifting across lanes is a major factor but it is important, too, that drivers are made aware they cannot attempt U-turns from the laybys, so there is going to be a big focus on that.”

“The measures are designed to make the road safer in advance of the planned full dualling of the section. I am pressing for that to be in the second phase of works dualled after Sparkford to Ilchester, Stonehenge, and A358 from Taunton to Ilminster.”