A303/A358: work to create an expressway to the South West

Highways England's strategy to make the A303 an expressway to the South West

Latest

In February we held several information events along the A303/A358 route in order to raise awareness of our plans for the route and to seek your initial views. You can view the leaflet which was available at the events online.

As part of the events we also carried out a survey to help capture your feedback which we will use to help shape or plans. We also collected names of people that have an interest in the proposals and will use the contact details that we gathered to keep people informed about project updates and future consultations.  If you or any other member of the community would like to be added to that list you can do that here.

View a summary of the events and survey.

Next Steps

Our first round of public consultation for the schemes will be as follows:

Late 2016

  • A303 Sparkford to Ilchester
  • A358 Taunton to Southfield

Early 2017

  • Amesbury to Berwick Down

These consultations will allow us to our work towards identifying preferred routes for each scheme by mid-2017.

Background

A303

The A303/A358 links the South West, London and the South East. It connects people, communities and business.

While the majority of the road has been converted to dual carriageway, there are still over 35 miles of single carriageway. Th

ese sections act as bottlenecks and cause delays, particularly in the summer months and at weekends.

At Highways England, we recognise that the route could perform better and are committed to creating an expressway to the South West.

The Roads Investment Strategy confirmed we are committed to:

  • upgrade all remaining sections of the A303 between the M3 and the A358 to dual carriageway standard
  • create a dual carriageway link from the M5 at Taunton to the A303

We are developing 3 schemes as part of the A303/ A358 package of improvements:

These large schemes are classed as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This means they require a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008 before construction can start.

As part of the planning process, we expect to be consulting our customers and local communities near the A303 and A358. This will give you the chance to express your views on the design and layout of these schemes before we submit our applications for development consent to allow construction to start.

How we operate the A303/A358

We operate the South West region’s strategic road network through our Regional Control Centre based at St Brendan’s Court in Avonmouth. Our control centre staff monitor our roads 24 hours a day, dealing with incidents when they occur.

We are moving to a more efficient, longer term approach to planning maintenance.

roadworksOver the last 2 years we have:

  • installed a combined 1250 metres of vehicle restraint barrier and bridge parapets, making the A303 safer for you
  • added over 5102 metres of drainage protecting the A303 during periods of bad weather
  • resurfaced more than 66 lane kilometres, providing you with a better driving experience and reducing noise levels for local communities
  • replaced over 43 traffic signs to keep you informed about what’s ahead