A303 Sparkford to Ilchester statutory consultation

Closed 9 Mar 2018

Opened 26 Jan 2018

Overview

We are consulting on our proposal to upgrade the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester to a high quality dual carriageway.

This follows on from our options consultation early last year and our selection of the preferred route which we announced on 24 October 2017.

This statutory consultation is your opportunity to express your views on the design of the proposed scheme in advance of our application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to authorise construction of the project.

Businesses, local authorities, public bodies, road users and the communities and neighboring areas can play an important part in the development of the scheme design. Your feedback is therefore essential to this consultation as it will enable us to improve the scheme before we start the planning process.

Background

The A303/A358 corridor provides vital connectivity between the south west and London and the south east for people, communities and businesses, including the tourist industry which is so important to the south west. But there are problems along the route.

In particular there are several single carriageway sections where road users suffer congestion and long delays. The problems are even worse at peak holiday times during the summer months and on weekends, when over an hour can be added to a typical journey between London and the south west.

In recognition of this and the harmful effects this has on the south west’s economy, the Government’s Road Investment Strategy sets out the intention to transform connectivity by upgrading the A303/A358 corridor to a high quality dual carriageway from the M3 motorway to the M5 motorway at Taunton.

You can find out more about the wider plans to improve the A303/A358 corridor by reading Highways England’s booklet Creating an expressway to the South West: The Case for the A303/A358 Corridor. In summary though, Highways England is intending to improve journeys to and from the south west, through the delivery of a number of schemes.

This website is about our public consultation on one of these schemes, the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester.

Need for the scheme

The section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester comprises of a mix of dual and single lane carriageway. This leads to localised congestion, impacting adversely on journey times and journey time reliability.

On a normal day, up to 23,500 vehicles use this single carriageway section. At weekends in the summer the number of vehicles using this section of road can increase. This is more traffic than the road is designed to carry.

Due to higher volumes of traffic during the summer months and in particular at weekends, average travel times increase on a Friday in August, making it impossible to predict the time a journey will take.

This scheme will have significant benefits for the local area including:

  • Capacity: the proposal will reduce congestion, by increasing the road’s capacity for free-flowing traffic and making mile-a-minute travel the norm
  • Safety: the proposal will boost road safety and ease driver stress. It will also make it safer and easier for cars, pedestrians and other local road users to reach facilities
  • Resilience: there will be fewer road closures due to incidents or accidents
  • Economic growth: by making trips quicker and safer, and arrival times easier to predict the proposal will by making the south west more attractive for tourists and commerce. Increasing the capacity of the road will also support the predicted growth in jobs and housing.

Fly-through video

Please see the below video for a visual fly-through of the proposed scheme.

How to get involved

Please take part in the consultation: all of the consultation information is available on this webpage including a brochure with a summary of the proposed route and our consultation questionnaire.

You can also attend a public consultation event:

Public consultation events where you can see the proposals and meet with members of the project team will be held as follows:

 

Date Time Address
Saturday 3 February 2018 10:00 to 18:00 Queen Camel Memorial Hall, Flagstone Cottage, High Street, Queen Camel, Yeovil BA22 7NE
Monday 5 February 2018 14:00 to 20:00 Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester BA22 8HT
Friday 9 February 2018 14:00 to 20:00 The Davis Hall, Howell Hill, West Camel, Yeovil BA22 7QX
Thursday 15 February 2018 14:00 to 20:00 Yeovil Town FC, Lufton Way, Brympton d’Evercy, Yeovil BA22 8YF

Visit a public information point

Consultation material will be available to view from Friday 26 January until Friday 9 March 2018 in the following places during normal opening hours:

  • Wincanton Library, 7 Carrington Way, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 9JS       
  • Yeovil Library, King George Street, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1PZ
  • South Petherton Library, St James Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BS
  • 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
  • Talltrees Community Centre, 4 Taranto Hill, Ilchester, Yeovil, BA22 8JP

Please read through the consultation brochure below and give us your views using the online survey.

Audiences

  • All members of the public

Interests

  • Roads