National Highways has started a public consultation on design changes to the A358 upgrade from Taunton and the Southfields roundabout at Ilminster.
The planned upgrade of the A358, a key route linking the South West and London and South East, will see a single lane stretch of carriageway between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields roundabout upgraded to dual carriageway.
Katherine Liddington, senior project manager for the A358 scheme, said: “We plan to upgrade approximately 8.5 miles of the A358 to a new high-quality and high-performing dual carriageway, which will reduce congestion, enhance safety and improve connectivity for road users and local communities, while unlocking economic growth in Somerset and beyond.
“Since our 2021 consultation we’ve made some changes to our preliminary design, which will improve safety and access to local roads and reduce the impact on communities, the environment and the local landscape.
Rebecca Pow MP added: “The A358 upgrade has been a long time coming and a great deal of progress has been made to reach this stage. It’s one of my commitments as your MP and I am pleased that Government is supporting this scheme.
“It is also most welcome that National Highways are listening to feedback and continuing to refine the route, something I have urged them to do as working with the community is vital.”
Following more than 900 responses to a public consultation in 2021, National Highways has made further refinements to the proposed route including:
- Nexus 25 junction – change from roundabout to signalised junction to accommodate signalised pedestrianised crossing and facilitate management of traffic in conjunction with M5 junction 25,
- Mattocks Tree Green junction,
- New connection at the eastern roundabout – for direct access to Village Road and onward travel to Hatch Beauchamp,
- Realignment of Ash Road connection – removing the direct link between Ash Road and Mattocks Tree Green junction to discourage rat-running,
- West Hatch Lane extension – providing a new public road alongside the A358 to allow more direct access to Mattocks Tree Green junction,
- Bridge at Bickenhall Lane – moved to place it further from Bickenhall Wood ancient woodland and access for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and disabled users and private farm access,
- Capland Link – confirming that the link road is our chosen option and the route of the link road adjacent to the A358, and
- Jordans bridge – a new link and bridge over the A358 between Ashill junction and Southfields roundabout for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders and disabled users and private farm access.