A358 consultation launched today

Highways England today launched the consultation on the route of the A358. This is the stretch between between the roundabout on the A303 outside Ilminster and J25 on the M5. As is so often the case with these things, it is not much of a consultation. You are not asked to choose between options. This is a final proposal, and you are invited to make any comments.

Highways England tell us “In delivering the scheme, we’re aiming to:

  • improve the capacity of the road to reduce delays and queues that occur during peak hours and at key times of the year i.e. the height of summer.
  • support economic growth, facilitating growth in jobs and housing by providing a free-flowing and reliable connection between the south east and the south west
  • make the road safer, by providing additional capacity and reducing driver stress. We’ll also improve routes for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders in the area
  • protect the environment and look for opportunities to improve it, minimising any unnecessary impact of the scheme on the surrounding natural and historic environment and landscape
  • work with local communities to reduce the impact of the road, and look for ways to improve local people’s quality of life
  • make journey times more reliable and resilient; by providing more capacity it will become easier to manage traffic when incidents occur

The consultation runs from today to Monday, 22 November 2021 with feedback helping National Highways develop its planning application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to be submitted next year.

A DCO is required for all nationally significant infrastructure projects and will allow for the Planning Inspectorate to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will decide on whether development consent should be granted for the proposed scheme.

One of the best ways to find out more about our proposals and have your say is to visit our online exhibition. You can access this via www.highwaysengland.co.uk/a358-taunton-to-southfields – there are dedicated times when you can chat with members of the project team who’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

There will also be three public consultation events in line with government guidance:

  • Taunton Racecourse – Tuesday 19 October, 2pm – 8pm
  • Monks Yard – Saturday 23 October, 11am – 6pm
  • Holiday Inn Taunton – Wednesday 3 November, 11am – 6pm

If you do not have access to the internet, you can request a free copy of our consultation booklet, feedback questionnaire and non-technical summary of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report by calling 0300 123 5000 or emailing A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk

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