A358 Taunton to Southfields Supplementary Consultation
I received a great piece of news via email yesterday afternoon. Highways England have listened to our concerns and will come back with a number of options instead of the only one currently proposed. They said:
“The original consultation which closed on 16 July asked people to share their views in relation to our proposals to upgrade the A358. To help our analysis of the consultation responses, we split the proposal into two sections. Section 1 was the improvement from the M5 to a proposed junction (junction B) in the vicinity of West Hatch Lane. Section 2 covered the improvement from the proposed junction B in the vicinity of West Hatch Lane to Southfields Roundabout.
We have listened to the feedback received, and realise that more work is needed to find the right solution for section 1. We understand that there has been some frustration that only one option for section 1 was taken to consultation and we are addressing this by holding a supplementary consultation with more options. The detail of these options will be made available when we officially launch the consultation.
The supplementary consultation will be launched and completed this calendar year and will be supported by a series of public exhibitions. My team have learnt a lot about suitable venues and interested communities in the vicinity of the scheme and will take this into account when planning the exhibitions.
We are not proposing any further consultation on section 2 because we have received clear feedback on our proposal from the completed consultation. We have received approximately 300 consultation responses from people living along this part of the corridor based on post codes submitted on their responses. We plan to make a preferred route announcement for section 2 later this year.
The options consultation is the first of a series of consultations on our proposals as they are developed and taken through the planning approval process. There will be a statutory consultation where all parties will be given the opportunity to comment on our more refined proposal.
We understand that delivering this scheme is important for the local community, Somerset, and the south west region as a whole. I hope this reassures you that we have taken full consideration the views of the local communities and all who have responded to our consultation.”