Construction has commenced on a new section of A303 dual carriageway to increase the capacity of the road, lower journey time, and make the road safety. Representatives of National Highways and local politicians have described the project significant for the south west.The £135 million scheme will go along three miles of existing single carriageway from Sparkford to Ilchester. It is being managed by the National Highways and funded by the Transport Department being part of Road Investment Strategy.
National Highways revealed that the upgrade will open to traffic in 2024, tackling a long-standing ‘bottleneck’ and increase jobs and housing in the area. On average, the existing A303 from Sparkford to Ilchester has been accommodating 23,500 vehicles daily and increasing significantly in summer, mostly in the weekends.
More safer and reliable.
The commencement of the project was marked by a turf-cutting meeting, attended by National Highways officials and the Galliford Try who are the constructors. The programme manager for National Highways, Hannah Sanderson stated: “It’s really significant. We’re obviously really happy about it. “The point of the project is to offer a high-quality dual carriageway. It’s important to the south west economic growth and will provide a connection between London and the south east to the south west.
“We’ve commenced on A303 dual carriageway in earnest, and we’re constructing temporary road on the site to well transport materials without interfering local roads, and we’re starting the bridges foundations.” On the road safety, she added: “Two lines will be created in both directions, helping traffic to move in the carriageway without threatening traffic flow, making the journeys more safer and reliable. “With the better traffic flow, we’ll expect it to lower journey hours in the section on average by around two minutes.” Marcus Fysh MP, Yeovil representative added: “It’s just amazing that we are finally getting A303 dual carriageway done, and it really is a vital part of our levelling-up agenda for the south west.