THE A303 should be the government’s top priority, despite calls to scrap improvements over fears it will devastate the environment, according to South Somerset MP Marcus Fysh. This follows a report published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England about the environmental impacts of the improvements.
Marcus is sympathetic to the overall aims of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, in particular preserving high quality farmland and beautiful landscapes. But in respect of their criticism of the A303 dualling project, which is seen by many as essential for us here in Yeovil and South Somerset, he couldn't agree as he believes the benefits to our local area far outweigh the costs of the dualling scheme.
Marcus said: “Dualling the A303 and A358 between the M3 and M5 will bring many jobs to the South West and dramatically improve road safety.
“County council work, which I encouraged in 2013 to make the case for reviving the project, showed that the direct transport benefits of making the whole road a dual carriageway expressway were more than twice the cost, even before taking account of the wider benefits to our local economy.
“This means it should continue to stack up very well under any review and requirement for value for money.
“I have written to Secretary of State Chris Grayling to remind him of the detail of this and invite him to come again to Somerset to see the benefits, and I will make sure the A303/358 dualling project remains top priority for the Government.
“It is proceeding on schedule with its first three sections being prepared for ground work to start in 2019/20, after the proper consultation, permission and procurement phases that are required by law.
“Great care is being taken throughout this process to minimise the impact on the environment and take local concerns into account.”