National Highways has launched a supplementary consultation for its scheme to upgrade the A358 in Somerset.
The project, which is estimated to cost up to £500m, will upgrade a single carriageway stretch of the road between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields roundabout on the A303 to dual carriageway.
It was part of a £2bn ‘package of commitments’ on the A303/A30/A358 corridor – a key route from London to the South West – set out in the 2015-20 Road Investment Strategy.
National Highways said that following more than 900 responses to a public consultation in 2021, it has made further refinements to the proposed route.
Katherine Liddington, senior project manager for the scheme, said: ‘Since our 2021 consultation we’ve made some changes to our preliminary design, which will improve safety and access to local roads and reduce the impact on communities, the environment and the local landscape.’
Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s lead director for economic and community infrastructure, said: ‘The A358/A303 is a vital main transport artery for Somerset and we’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet got involved in the consultation to try and join one of the events either online or face-to-face and make your voice heard.’
The changes include:
- Nexus 25 junction (above) – change from roundabout to signalised junction to accommodate signalised pedestrianised crossing and facilitate the management of traffic in conjunction with M5 junction 25
- Mattocks Tree Green junction
> New connection at the eastern roundabout - for direct access to Village Road and onward travel to Hatch Beauchamp
> Realignment of Ash Road connection – removing the direct link between Ash Road and Mattocks Tree Green junction to discourage rat-running
> West Hatch Lane extension – providing a new public road alongside the A358 to allow more direct access to Mattocks Tree Green junction
- Bridge at Bickenhall Lane – moved to place it further from Bickenhall Wood ancient woodland and access for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and disabled users and private farm access
- Capland Link – confirming that the link road is National Highways' chosen option and the route of the link road adjacent to the A358
- Jordans bridge – a new link and bridge over the A358 between Ashill junction and Southfields roundabout for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and disabled users and private farm access.
The supplementary consultation runs from 24 May to 26 June 2022 with feedback helping National Highways develop its application for a Development Consent Order, to be submitted later this year.
Some of the changes since the public consultation in 2021