Council Highways chief welcomes progress with A303/A358 improvement plans

Somerset County Council’s Highways head has welcomed progress with improvement plans for a major arterial route that will drive economic growth and prosperity in the South West.

Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Fothergill, is urging residents to attend three Somerset-based events on the future upgrade of the A303/A358 corridor. Prime Minister David Cameron announced significant upgrades to the route, linking London and the South East to the South West, as part of the Government’s Roads Investment Strategy in winter 2014.

Cllr David Fothergill said: “This project is a vital key to unlocking the future growth and prosperity of Somerset and the South West. We all know that, as well as drastically improving driver experience, it represents fantastic opportunities for our county – from generating well over 20,000 jobs, to bringing a £42bn benefit to our region’s economy over 60 years.

“It has taken many years of hard lobbying by a Somerset-led partnership of local authorities to reach this point. I am pleased that we are now all being given this chance to find out more and eventually share our views, paving the way for the improvements.”

Highways England’s public engagement days will provide information on how its plans for the A303/A358 corridor will be developed. These encompass three schemes to dual the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down, the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester, and the A358 Southfields to Junction 25 (Taunton) of the M5.

The Somerset-based events will be held between 1pm and 7pm at the following locations:
• Podymore Inn, Podimore, BA22 8JF – Monday 22 February
• Monks Yard, Horton Cross, Ilminster, TA19 9PT – Thursday 25 February
• Creative Innovation Centre CIC, Memorial Hall, Paul St, Taunton, TA1 3PF – Friday 26 February
Members of the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposals, and the timescales, and speak to Highways England staff.