Here are some useful links in the campaign for a better solution. Firstly the link to the National Highways consultation:
Note that 2 of the face-to-face consultation events have already passed. The remaining one is at the Holiday Inn in Taunton on Wednesday 3rd November between 11am and 6pm. There are other online events, or you can email or phone for a 'telephone surgery'. Check the above link for details
A video simulation traversing the route and giving a bird's eye view of the road and junctions can be found here: https://youtu.be/_KK15SFFB90
Here are the Conclusions taken from an independent Traffic Review commissioned by the Neighbourhood Plan. You may wish to use some of this in your consultation responses, and further detailed evidence will be circulated later:
"The pattern, frequency and severity of collisions recorded in proximity of Hatch Beauchamp, suggest that there are currently no identified deficiencies in the highway arrangement across the area reviewed. However, it should be noted that current collisions trends will be heavily influenced by the ability of traffic to disperse across the local road network when seeking to access both the A358 and destinations west of it. By reducing the number of points of connectivity to the A358 and locations west of it, traffic will be channelled down specific routes, intensifying daily use which will affect levels of risk."
"It is evident that in highways terms the rural setting of Hatch Beauchamp and the neighbouring communities connecting to it are generally characterised by narrow roads subject to the national speed limit, with limited dedicated passing places and high hedges on approaches to settlements that in their current form, are ill suited to accommodate intensified use. It is also clear that the dualling proposal will require neighbouring settlement to seek passage to the A358 via Hatch Beauchamp where previously they would have been able to utilise more direct routes away from the village."
"Further to the above route reviews confirm that existing journey distances for residents seeking access to the A358 are notably increased and by connection so are journey times. This not only represents a loss of existing amenity but also increases the number of potential conflict points road users will be exposed to on route to the A358."
"Whilst it is acknowledged that new infrastructure provided as part of the dualling scheme will be delivered to appropriate standards, further consideration of how retained links and junctions are to be improved to accommodate intensified use by residents, businesses, farming communities and those travelling from further afield is necessary to ensure that the safety of road users and pedestrians is not prejudiced as a result of future development. "
Here is a list of key contacts you may wish to write to (from West Hatch website)
The joint Parish proposals can be found on the West Hatch website: http://www.westhatchparish.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Community-Response-to-NH-Briefing-30.9.21-1-1.pdf
Please note that some parts are very technical and I'm not aware that the actual proposals have been widely consulted on.
See below for the latest Parish update on the matter, and note the subscribe button if you wish to receive further newsletters (which will also be published here)