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National Highways puts A358 and Henlade bypass on hold



Fears that plans for a bypass around Henlade could be scrapped following a National Highways announcement.


A Development Consent Order for consent for a scheme to dual the A358 between Taunton and the Southfields Roundabout at Ilminster - which included the bypass plans - has been put on hold indefinitely.


Politicians have vowed to fight for the project to go ahead, but locals say they have been left in limbo.


A National Highways spokesperson said today (Friday, December 8): "National Highways, with the support from Government, will not be submitting the Development Consent Order application for the A358 Taunton to Southfields Dualling Scheme as planned this year and we are working with Government on the next steps."


Doug Lowe, who has lived in Henlade for 34 years, said: "It's such a shame they aren't carrying on with it.


"We need a solution because traffic isn't going to decrease and the pollution levels in the area among the highest in the country.


"The bottom line is Henlade needs a bypass, but now we don't know if it will ever go ahead."


Another villager, who asked not to be named, said: "Part of my land and property was to be requisitioned for the scheme.


"National Highways' announcement has put people living here in limbo.


"There's huge uncertainty. There is no indication whatsoever about what the future is.

"We want to know where we stand."


Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said: "I know that many will be disappointed and concerned following the announcement that National Highways, with the support from Government, will not be submitting the Development Consent Order application for the A358 Taunton to Southfields Duelling Scheme planned this year with the continued uncertainty that this will cause.


"I am meeting with the Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, to discuss the next steps before Christmas.


"I will explore opportunities to tailor future proposals for this stretch of road following discussions I have had with local people in the Hatch Beauchamp and West Hatch areas, many of whom had reservations about the routeway



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