A358 Dualling Proposal

Expressway? No Way!

We support the proposed Henlade bypass and Southfields roundabout A358 improvements as a way to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the affected area. This would provide 75% of the claimed journey time savings of the entire project.

However, nobody (including Somerset County Council in their consultation responses) has explained why this necessitates building an expressway on the rest of the corridor. All the congestion comes from the 30mph limit in Henlade and the approach to it with two lanes merging into one, and at the other end on the approach to Southfield roundabout. We haven't been told either why motorway style mega junctions at Thornfalcon (two large roundabouts) and Ashill are required.

 

On the other hand this highway and its link roads running parallel on both sides in some parts would lay waste to the countryside and environment, completely at odds with government targets to reduce carbon emissions and discourage motor transport. It doesn't even bring any better connections to villages around Hatch Beauchamp or West Hatch and Neroche, instead cutting off many east-west routes completely and channelling local traffic through villages that were bypassed in the 1980s
 

Many of these concerns and others have been raised by a group of 14 parish (and town) councils along the route, to National Highways and Somerset County Council. SCC so far hasn't backed these communities and hasn't explained its position in rejecting alternative proposals.

 

On the other hand this highway and its link roads running parallel on both sides in some parts would lay waste to the countryside and environment, completely at odds with government targets to reduce carbon emissions and discourage motor transport. It doesn't even bring any better connections to villages around Hatch Beauchamp or West Hatch and Neroche, instead cutting off many east-west routes completely and channelling local traffic through villages that were bypassed in the 1980s

 

We are asking National Highways to reduce the scale of the middle of the route, which would be cheaper in both environmental impact and financial cost (all the more important in these difficult
times), whilst retaining the amenities of the affected communities