WANT to have your say on crucial plans to help upgrade one of Somerset's key routes?

Highways England has begun consulting on ambitious proposals to improve the route from Sparkford to Ilchester and create 30 miles of dual carriageway between Mere and South Petherton.

Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh has welcomed the plans and is urging residents to have their say.

Mr Fysh said: “The publication of the plans is a very positive development and we are a step closer to seeing much-needed improvements that will help to end traffic problems on one of our busiest routes and provide quicker, safer and more reliable journeys for drivers.

“It is vitally important we get this right, so I would encourage all lresidents to check out the plans, and attend one of the public exhibitions and have a say.

“I will also be organising sessions for the public and businesses in Yeovil, where you can see the plans in detail and talk to the Highways England team.

“I look forward to working closely with Highways England and other stakeholders over the coming months and helping to progress the plans in time for work to begin in 2020.”

Somerset County Council played a big part in lobbying the Government to upgrade not just the A303 but also the A358 running from Ilminster to Taunton.

Cllr David Fothergill, cabinet member for Highways and Transport at the county council, is urging people to help shape the plans by taking part in the consultation, which runs until March 29.

“We worked extremely hard over a number of years to put the A303 and the A358 at the top of the Government’s agenda and are working closely with them as these plans are developed,” he said.

“Highways England have now reached the crucial consultation stage and I would urge all local people to get involved and let them know what you think.” Highways England will be holding the following public information events: • Noon to 8.30pm, Thursday February 23: Sparkford Inn Function Room, Sparkford • 10am to 6pm, Saturday February 25: Davis Hall, West Camel • 10am to 5pm, Friday March 10: Queen Camel Village Hall, Queen Camel.

A separate consultation on building a tunnel for the A303 near Stonehenge is also being held.

It is expected that details on upgrading the A358 between Taunton and Ilminster will be revealed shortly.

The preferred route between Sparkford and Ilchester is due to be announced in the autumn with work expected to start in 2020/ For more information or to have your say online, please visit http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a303-sparkford-to-ilchester/.