A303 – find out how it will affect you

Work on turning the A303 into a dual carriage way between Sparkford roundabout and Podimore starts soon. This September to be exact. Although holiday traffic will be fading away, the start of the new school term will mean the road will still be very busy.

The improvement is one that businesses have lobbied for over decades. As Lee Nathan, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) South West Regional Chairman, notes. “Upgrading the single carriageway sections of this important route is key to supporting the south west economy, particularly as the only alternative route via the M4 and M5 into the south west is already heavily congested.

On an average day the road carries 23,500 vehicles. However numbers increase significantly in the summer, particularly at weekends. Which makes journeys unreliable and unpredictable. 

The upgrade, will cost between £130 to £160 million. Main construction work will get under way in 2022, with closures kept to a minimum throughout the scheme. However it will take until 2024 for the upgraded road to open to traffic. And that is if things go to plan. Inevitably to create the dual carriageway, things will have to get worse before they get better. These roadworks will have a major impact on traffic around south Somerset.

To help local people plan, Highways England will hold a virtual exhibition next week. It is a chance for residents to find out more and put questions to the project team.

The virtual exhibition will run from midday to 8pm on Thursday 22 July and Friday 23 July. To access the virtual exhibition, a link will be available from Thursday 22 July at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/a303-sparkford-to-ilchester/

Anyone unable to log in on the day can leave a comment on the exhibition or contact Highways England by emailing A303SparkfordtoIlchesterDualling@highwaysengland.co.uk or calling 0300 123 5000. The exhibition will remain live and be regularly updated throughout the scheme build.


  • When, eventually, westbound traffic no longer has to use the Hazelgrove/Sparkford roundabout Fridays and Saturdays will be so much less stressful for the residents of Sparkford and Queen Camel. Roll on!

  • I’m dreading the start of the work. This is part of my daily commute, and I remember the chaos when the Sparkford bypass section was put in. They seem to make such a meal of it, and don’t care about the headaches they cause to the travelling public – the time and cost don’t appear on their balance sheet.

    At least I have the option of going via Cary…

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