Somerset residents are being urged to have their say on plans to upgrade the A303.
Highways England has begun consulting on proposals to improve the route from Sparkford to Ilchester and create 30 miles of dual carriageway between Mere and South Petherton.
Somerset County Council was instrumental in lobbying the Government for whole route improvement of the A303 and A358 corridor*.
Now, Cllr David Fothergill, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, is urging local people to help shape the plans by taking part in the consultation, which runs from 15 February to 29 March 2017.
“We worked extremely hard over a number of years to put the A303 and the A358 at the top of the Government’s agenda and are working closely with them as these plans are developed,” he said.
“Highways England have now reached the crucial consultation stage and I would urge all local people to get involved and let them know what you think.”
Highways England will be holding the following public information events:
- 12noon to 8.30pm, Thursday 23 February: Sparkford Inn Function Room, Sparkford
- 10am to 6pm, Saturday 25 February: Davis Hall, West Camel
- 10am to 5pm, Friday 10 March: Queen Camel Village Hall, Queen Camel
A separate consultation on building a tunnel for the A303 near Stonehenge is also being held, while details on upgrading the A358 between Taunton and Ilminster are due to be revealed shortly.
The preferred route between Sparkford and Ilchester is due to be announced in the autumn with work expected to start in 2020
For more information or to have your say online, please visit http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a303-sparkford-to-ilchester/.
Representatives from Somerset County Council met with three different Transport Ministers, sent numerous letters and held two MP briefing sessions in Westminster to gather support for upgrading the A303.
In partnership with neighbouring authorities they have commissioned economic studies to highlight the benefits of improvements, and surveyed hundreds of businesses and visitors to show the widespread support.
These showed that improvements could provide 21,400 jobs, a £41.6bn boost to the economy and £1.9bn in transport benefits from reduced journey times. An upgrade could also prevent more than 1,800 fatal or serious injuries over 60 years and reduce carbon emissions by 9%.