A303 Sparkford to IlchesterRecently updated

Improving the single lane to a dual carriageway on the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, part of a programme of improvements to the A303/A30/A358.

Region:  South West
Start date:  TBC
Cost:  £100 to £250 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC
Programme:  

Progress report

On 24 October 2017 we announced the preferred route for the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester dualling scheme.

We would like to thank everyone who helped influence this decision by contributing to our public consultation earlier in 2017. After carefully considering the feedback, together with further assessments, we have concluded that Option 1 would provide the best performing route overall.

We have selected Option 1 as our preferred route as it:

  • minimises land-take
  • minimises construction in unspoilt rural setting as the route follows the existing corridor very closely
  • is preferred by stakeholders and most of the local community as it has less impact on biodiversity
  • is the shortest of the 2 options so will provide the best journey time

Our preferred route for a dual carriageway between Sparkford and Ilchester will make journeys quicker and safer, while boosting economic productivity, creating opportunity and prosperity for local people.

The project is also fundamental to the Government’s aim to make the A303 an expressway to the south west.

Visit our consultation page for detailed information and documents about the preferred route and explaining how we took account of people’s views.

What next?

We are now developing the preferred route into a more detailed proposal and you will have another chance to comment before we submit our final scheme for development consent. Our next round of consultation will be on our detailed proposals for the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester It will be statutory consultation, which means it is required by the Planning Act 2008.

Your feedback from that consultation will allow us to make sure we have got the best scheme, or highlight where we still need to make changes, before we make our application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). View our handy guide to the planning process.

If all goes to plan, we aim to carry out the next round of consultation in early 2018 and would like to start building the new road in 2020.

Timeline

Date Event
2014 Scheme included in the Roads Investment Strategy
2015-2016 route identification
15 February to 29 March 2017 Non-statutory consultation on route options
October 2017 Announcement of preferred route
Early 2018 Statutory consultation on proposed scheme
Mid 2018 Submit planning application
2020 (TBC) Start on site

Community news

We are holding 2 public drop-in events where you can view the preferred route and talk to our project experts:

Location Date Time
Haynes Motor Museum, Wolverlands, Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7LH Tuesday 7 November 2017 3pm to 7pm
Haynes Motor Museum, Wolverlands, Sparkford, Yeovil, BA22 7LH Friday 10 November 2017 3pm to 7pm

Information points

Copies of the preferred route plans and supporting reports will also be available at the following local information points from Tuesday 24 October.

Public Information Points
Wincanton Library, 7 Carrington Way, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 9JS Barrington Court, Barrington, Ilminster, TA19 0NQ
Yeovil Library, King George Street, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1PZ Lytes Cary Manor, near Somerton, Somerset, TA11 7HU
South Petherton Library, St. James Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BS Montacute House, Montacute, TA15 6XP
Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3XZ Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Martock Library, The Shopping Centre, Martock, Somerset, TA12 6DL South Somerset District Council, Brympton Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 2HT

Why we need this scheme

The A303/A358 corridor is a vital connection between the south west, London and the south east. While much of the route is a dual carriageway, there are still over 35 miles of single carriageway. These sections act as congestion bottlenecks, particularly in the summer months and at weekends, causing delays to road users travelling between the M3 motorway and the south west and an increased risk of accidents.

This section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester comprises a mix of dual and single lane carriageway, which leads to localised congestion, impacting adversely on journey times and reliability. This section also has a poor accident record as a result of poor junction alignment and visibility, and changes in road type.

We are proposing to dual this single carriageway section. The scheme will reduce congestion, improve journey times and make our network safer for customers.

Aims

The scheme will:
  • reduce congestion, improve journey times and make our network safer for our customers
  • support jobs and economic growth at a local and national level
  • minimise adverse impacts on the surrounding natural environment and landscape

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