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SOMERSET: A358 dualling consultation update

SOMERSET: A358 dualling consultation update

CREDIT: Highways England.

Somerset residents have less than three weeks to have their say on plans for a new dual carriageway between the M5 and A303.

National Highways (formerly Highways England) has put forward proposals to dual the A358 between Junction 25 of the M5 near Taunton and the Southfields roundabout near Ilminster.

The agency launched a second round of public consultation on the plans on October 12, with residents being given multiple means to put their views across before the final proposals go to the Planning Inspectorate in 2022.

With the last public exhibition now concluded, residents have until November 22 to have their say on the detailed designs.

The new dual carriageway will begin near Junction 25 at the new Nexus roundabout, which connects the motorway to the soon-to-be-constructed Nexus Business Park.

From there the road moves south, bypassing the congested village of Henlade, with a new junction being created at Mattock’s Tree Green to connect the dual carriageway with the A378 to Langport.

From there the road essentially follows the existing A358 footpring, ending in capacity improvements at the Southfields roundabout and an easier exit onto the A303 eastbound.

The scheme is expected to cost £328M, based upon the contract awarded to Taylor Woodrow in April – though the finished road may not be fully delivered until 2028.

As part of the consultation process, National Highways held its third and final public exhibition on the plans at the Holiday Inn Taunton on Wednesday (November 3), with dozens lining up to view the plans and have their say.

Taunton resident Eric Murphy said: “It’s about time – I wish they could just get on with it and start tomorrow.

“This will make it much easier for people to travel to Taunton for shopping, and should bring more jobs to the area.”

One resident, who did not wish to be identified, added: “Taunton’s put up with so much roadworks over the last few years – it’s been a nightmare.

“If this goes ahead I really hope they start at the Ilminster end to give us all a break.”

Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter

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