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Consultation launches on new designs for A358 Taunton to Southfields upgrade

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National Highways has launched a 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.

The proposed scheme is designed to considerably benefit road users, local communities and businesses.

Katherine Liddington, Senior Project Manager for the A358 scheme, said: “We plan to build approximately 8.5 miles of new dual carriageway, which will considerably improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion and improve connectivity for road users and local communities, while unlocking economic growth in Somerset and beyond.

“Since announcing our preferred route for the project in 2019 we have been working to refine the preliminary design for the new road. We’ve made some improvements to our proposals, which will improve access safety to local roads and reduce the impact on communities, the environment, and the local landscape.

“As part of the planning process, we would like to hear your thoughts on our proposed design. This will help refine our preliminary design before we submit our planning application in 2022.”

POSSIBLE FUTURE: Visualisation of the proposed Mattock’s Tree Green junction looking east towards the A378 and Wrantage

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 is as important as ever that the A303/A358 corridor is improved as this is vital to unlocking the region.  I hope as many people as possible will take part in the consultation.”

In delivering the scheme, National Highways is 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

The consultation runs from today to Monday, 22 November 2021 with feedback helping National Highways develop its planning application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to be submitted next 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.

One of the best ways to find out more about our proposals and have your say is to visit the online exhibition. You can access this via www.highwaysengland.co.uk/a358-taunton-to-southfields – there are dedicated times when you can chat with members of the project team who’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

There will also be nine online question and answer events, and three public consultation events in line with government guidance:

Taunton Racecourse – Tuesday 19 October, 2pm - 8pm

Monks Yard – Saturday 23 October, 11am - 6pm

Holiday Inn Taunton – Wednesday 3 November, 11am - 6pm

If you do not have access to the internet, you can request a free copy of the consultation booklet, feedback questionnaire and non-technical summary of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report by calling 0300 123 5000 or emailing A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk

How to find out more 

Online exhibition  

From the 12 October, one of the best ways to find out about the proposals will be to visit the virtual exhibition room via this webpage. Here, you will be able to learn more about the project, study detailed plans and put your questions to the Highways team.  

Members of the Highways team will be available to answer your questions via a webchat function at the following times: 

Date 

Time 

Tuesday 12 October 

 4pm – 7pm 

Wednesday 13 October 

11am – 2pm 

Friday 15 October 

8am – 11am  

Friday 15 October 

3pm – 6pm  

Monday 18 October 

12pm – 3pm  

Wednesday 20 October  

10am – 1pm 

Wednesday 20 October 

6pm – 9pm  

Friday 22 October 

9am – 12pm  

Friday 22 October 

3pm – 6pm  

Thursday 18 November 

3pm – 6pm  

Friday 19 November 

9am – 12pm 

 

Outside of these times, you will be able to submit questions to the team who will get back to you via email. 

Webinars 

National Highways will be hosting some themed webinars on Microsoft Teams with the project team, focusing on different topics and specialist areas. At these events, the team will give a short presentation and then take questions from attendees. You can submit your questions using the chat function, which can be used anonymously.  

You can register for the below sessions by emailing: A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk 

Topic 

Dates 

Time 

Consulting on the A358 Taunton to Southfields dualling scheme 

Thursday 14 October 

12pm 

Section 1 – M5 junction 25 to Mattock’s Tree Green junction 

Wednesday 20 October 

5pm 

Section 2 – Mattock’s Tree Green junction to Griffin Lane 

Thursday 21 October 

12pm 

Section 3 – Griffin Lane to Ashill junction  

Thursday 21 October 

5pm 

Section 4 – Ashill junction to Southfields roundabout   

Friday 22 October 

5pm 

Walking, cycling and horse riding, including disabled users 

Monday 1 November 

3pm 

The environment 

Tuesday 2 November 

3pm 

Traffic modelling 

Thursday 4 November 

3pm 

Consulting on the A358 Taunton to Southfields Dualling Scheme 

Thursday 18 November 

6pm 

 

Public consultation events 

Visit one of our face-to-face events to find out more about the proposals and chat to our team. 

 

Location 

Date 

Time 

Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, TA3 7BL  

 

Tuesday 19 October 

2pm - 8pm 

Monks Yard (Conference Room), Horton Cross Farm, Horton Cross, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9PT  

 

Saturday 23 October 

11am - 6pm 

Holiday Inn Taunton, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 2UA  

 

Wednesday 3 November 

11am - 6pm 

Telephone surgery 

You can book a call back from a member of the project team who will answer your questions on the proposed changes. Call backs will be made Monday to Friday, 12pm to 7pm, between 12 October and 22 November. 

You can request a call back by emailing: A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk or calling 0300 183 5000. 

Home delivery 

If you do not have access to the internet or experience problems downloading the consultation materials, Highways can send you free of charge one printed copy of the consultation booklet, feedback questionnaire and non-technical summary of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report. 

You can request printed copies by emailing A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk or calling 0300 183 5000.

Deposit points

You can also visit one of the information points below to pick up a paper copy of the consultation booklet, feedback questionnaire and non-technical summary of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report. 

·Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton, TA1 3XZ

·South Petherton Library, 3 St James's Street, South Petherton, TA13 5BS

·Martock Library, North Street, Martock, TA12 6DL

·Priorswood Library, Hillside Children's Centre, Eastwick Rd, Taunton, TA2 7HD

· Ilminster Library, Ditton Street, Ilminster, TA19 0BW (hard copy of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report will also be available for inspection at this location)

·Chard Library, Holyrood Street, Chard, TA20 2YA

·Somerset County Council mobile library

·Ilminster Meeting House & Arts Centre, 35 East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AN

·Henlade Post Office, Henlade, Taunton, TA3 5DH

·Blackbrook Leisure Centre & Spa, Blackbrook Way, Taunton, TA1 2RW

· Somerset West and Taunton Council, Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1HE (hard copy of the Preliminary Environmental Information Report will also be available for inspection at this location)

How to have your say 

From 12 October you can submit a response by using one of the methods below, which are all free to use. Please note, the team cannot guarantee that responses sent by any other means will be considered.  

Online response form 

Fill in the online questionnaire on the National Highways page

Freepost 

Post your response for or comments to: 

FREEPOST A358 TAUNTON TO SOUTHFIELDS  

 The Freepost address is the only text needed on the envelope, and no stamp is required. 

Email 

Email your comments to: A358TauntontoSouthfields@highwaysengland.co.uk 

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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