Somerset residents are urged to have their say on plans to upgrade the A303.
Highways England has today (Friday 26 January) launched a consultation on proposals to improve the single carriageway section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, including widening the road to a dual carriageway and improving safety of connections with the local road network.
Somerset County Council was instrumental in lobbying the Government for whole route improvement of the A303 and A358 corridor*.
Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development, welcomes the news and is urging local people to have their say by taking part in the consultation, which runs from 26 January to 9 March 2018.
Cllr Hall, said: “This consultation represents a huge step forward in the plans. Upgrading the A303 will provide significant benefits for both residents and businesses in Somerset and we are pleased to see that government has recognised the importance of this route.
“This is the final step before the plans are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for approval and I would urge all local people to get involved, visit a local event and make sure their voice is heard.”
The consultation documents can be accessed at: www.highways.gov.uk/Sparkford-to-Ilchester
Highways England will be holding events where people can meet the project team and view the proposed route. The dates are:
- Saturday 3 February, 10am to 6pm at Queen Camel Memorial Hall, High St, Queen Camel, Yeovil, BA22 7NF
- Monday 5 February, 2pm to 8pm at Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Yeovilton, Ilchester, BA22 8HT
- Friday 9 February, 2pm to 8pm at The Davis Hall, Howell Hill, West Camel, Yeovil, BA22 7QX
- Thursday 15 February, 2pm to 8pm at Huish Park Stadium, Lufton Way, Yeovil, BA22 8YF
Public information points, where people can view the proposed plans, will be situated at:
- Wincanton Library, 7 Carrington Way, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 9JS
- Barrington Court, Barrington, Ilminster, TA19 0NQ
- Yeovil Library, King George Street, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1PZ
- Lytes Cary Manor, near Somerton, Somerset, TA11 7HU
- South Petherton Library, St. James Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BS
- Montacute House, Montacute, TA15 6XP
- Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3XZ
- Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
- Martock Library, The Shopping Centre, Martock, Somerset, TA12 6DL
- South Somerset District Council, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT
- Ilchester Town Hall and Community Centre, High St, Ilchester, Yeovil, BA22 8NQ
A second, separate consultation on a proposal for widening the A358 between Southfields Roundabout on the A303 and West Hatch is being presented for comment, along with a number of options for the West Hatch to M5 section. For more information visit http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a358-taunton-to-southfields
*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%.