Transport Minister welcomed to Somerset

The M5, A303/A358 and improved strategic rail links were among the topics of conversation as the Leader of Somerset County Council welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport to Taunton today.

Councillor David Fothergill hosted the event at Somerset County Cricket Club where MPs, council leaders and key members of the local business community had chance to discuss their priorities with Chris Grayling MP.

Cllr Fothergill took the opportunity to press for updates on the A303 and A358 schemes at Stonehenge, Sparkford-Ilchester and Taunton-Ilminster. He also pushed for delivery of the remaining sections of the road and for improved resilience of the M5.

Today’s visit coincided with the announcement of £80m for major works to protect the rail line at Dawlish – so it was no surprise that the resilience of the SW rail network was also a key topic of conversation.

Cllr David Fothergill said: “I was very pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to Taunton today and was grateful for the opportunity to discuss some of the issues which are so important to Somerset and the wider South West region.

“Through our role in the Peninsular Rail Task Force we’ve played a key role in lobbying for a more resilient railway in the south west – today’s announcement is welcome but we’ll continue to push for further investment to the key Exeter to Bristol corridor.

“It was great to hear about the plans to upgrade the A303 and A358 and continued investment in our region.”