Consultation launches on design changes for A358 Taunton to Southfields scheme
National Highways has today (24 May) launched a supplementary consultation for the upgrade of the A358 in Somerset.
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.
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
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.
Details about these and other changes made since our 2021 public consultation are available from today (24th May), with National Highways welcoming your feedback until the 26thJune.
Caption: A map summarising some of the improvements we’ve made since the public consultation in 2021
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.
“As part of our planning, we would like to hear your thoughts on our design changes before we submit our planning application later this year.”
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.
“It is as important as ever that the A303/A358 corridor is improved as this is crucial to unlocking the region. I hope as many people as possible will take part in this supplementary consultation.”
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
Paula Hewitt, Somerset County Council’s Lead Director for Economic and Community Infrastructure, said: “We’re really grateful to everyone who has taken the time so far to share their views and help inform this process – National Highways has used the input to develop the design further and these events will be an opportunity to review this and also have a further say.
“The A358/A303 is a vital main transport artery for Somerset and we’d encourage anyone who hasn’t yet got involved in the consultation to try and join one of the events either online or face-to-face and make your voice heard.”
The supplementary consultation runs from 24 May to 26 June 2022 with feedback helping National Highways develop its planning application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to be submitted later this 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.
All plans will be available on a dedicated consultation website and virtual exhibition room, that can be accessed via www.nationalhighways.co.uk/a358-taunton-to-southfields from 24th May 2022.
National Highways is holding three public consultation events:
Thursday 26 May from 11am to 8pm: Monks Yard (Conference Room), Horton Cross Farm, Horton Cross, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9PT
Wednesday 8 June from 11am to 8pm: Somerset County Cricket Club, The Cooper Associates County Ground, St. James Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1JT
Saturday 11 June from 11am to 6pm: Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 7BL
There will also be four webinars, where you will be able to put your questions to the project team. For more information on these, or to book your place, visit: http://www.nationalhighways.co.uk/a358-taunton-to-southfields
If you do not have access to the internet, you can request a free copy of our consultation booklet, feedback questionnaire and responding to 2022 consultation booklet by calling 0300 123 5000 or emailing A358TauntontoSouthfields@nationalhighways.co.uk