The start on site of Galliford Try Highways’ major new A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme has been marked by a visit to site by local politicians and the National Highways team.
Local MPs Marcus Fysh and David Warburton were in attendance alongside representatives from Somerset County Council, South Somerset District Council and the local parish councils to receive a briefing from National Highways and Galliford Try into the planned work along the three-mile stretch.
The £135m scheme is set to see the dualling of the current single carriageway section of road between Sparkford to Ilchester, easing a well-known bottleneck on the A303 which is a major route connecting the South West to London and the South East, and encouraging economic growth in the area.
David Lowery, Managing Director of Galliford Try Highways, commented: “The integrated project team have worked tirelessly to take the scheme through the very important development phase, and, we are delighted to be starting works with vigour on this vital piece of infrastructure for the region.
“Galliford Try has a strong track record in delivering major road schemes in the region and we look forward to working with all local stakeholders and National Highways to successfully deliver this upgraded section of the A303, and, realise the extensive benefits that will make a significant difference to local communities and the region as a whole, as well as supporting the wider economic growth and connectivity agenda.”
Baroness Vere, Roads Minister, said: “We’ve provided £135 million to make this scheme a reality, and this is a fantastic moment for the South West as works get underway.
“Not only will it enhance capacity, cut journey times and improve road safety, but as we continue to build back better from the pandemic this project will provide a real boost to the local economy in Somerset and the surrounding region – creating jobs, improving access to housing and opening the region up to the rest of the country.”
Hannah Sanderson, Programme Manager for National Highways, said: “We are really pleased that we are now starting this long-awaited project in earnest. The scheme is incredibly important for Somerset’s future, vital to the A303 / A358 corridor and it’s exciting that work is finally under way.
“The three new miles of dual carriageway will support economic growth and facilitate a growth in jobs and housing by creating a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and South West.”