Press release

Public offered fuller say on plans to upgrade A358 in Somerset

A further consultation on plans to upgrade the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and the A303 Southfields in Somerset will be held early next year.

placeholder

The plan is to create a complete section of high quality dual carriageway, reducing congestion and leading to quicker journeys for motorists, and an initial consultation was held earlier this year.

Highways England acted on feedback from that consultation by planning a supplementary consultation, focusing on options for improving the road between the M5 and West Hatch.

Instead, the decision has been taken to consult on the whole route in early 2018 in order to gather better information.

David Stock, Highways England project manager, said:

“Having planned to hold a supplementary consultation, we’ve now decided to widen the scope into a whole route consultation and in doing so we need more time to work on this and finalise all the consultation materials. We also wanted to avoid consulting during December and the distracting run-up to Christmas.

“This will provide the public with a chance to have a fuller say, and there will be a number of options presented for consideration, the details of which will be announced when the consultation is launched.

“We listened to all the feedback during the initial consultation and we invite everybody to come along to the rescheduled events and have their say.”

The Government is committed to upgrading all remaining sections of the A303 corridor between the M3 and M5 to dual carriageway standard, and the A358 scheme is one of three projects included in its first roads investment strategy – with preferred routes announced earlier this year for both the A303 Stonehenge and A303 Sparkford to Ilchester schemes.

The A358 is currently a mix of single and dual carriageway, carrying more vehicles than it was designed for.

This leads to delays, and the plan is to improve the route to a dual carriageway as well as improve connectivity and access for local communities and vulnerable road users such as cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians. Consultation dates and details are currently being finalised and will be announced next month.

In the meantime, anyone wanting further information can go to the scheme website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 13 November 2017