THE three options for Highways England's latest consultation on the A358 have been revealed. 

The stretch of road between Taunton and Southfields Roundabout near Ilminster is being redeveloped as part of the government's £15billion road investment strategy.

A consultation was held last year with just one option, sparking concern with the county council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and a series of parish councils across the area. 

The A358 is currently a mix of single and dual carriageway, carrying more vehicles than it was designed for. This leads to delays, and the plan is to improve the route to a dual carriageway as well as improve connectivity and access for local communities and vulnerable road users such as cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

A new consultation has launched today featuring three options that will run until February 27.

People who responded to last year’s consultation and have nothing further to add at this point, do not need to re-submit their original response as they will still be taken into account. If their views have changed, they should take this opportunity to have a further say. 

Chard & Ilminster News:

The options are highlighted as orange, pink and blue in the map above. 

Highways England, project manager, David Stock said: “The A303/A358 is such a vital route that we need to be absolutely sure we find the best option for upgrading the section between the A303 and M5 at Taunton.

“We had a huge response to the previous consultation and after reviewing all the feedback closely we understand how important it is to give people the chance to have their say on more options before taking the scheme to the next stage.

“We urge everyone who is interested in the route to tell us what they think of the new proposals so we can be sure we deliver a scheme that will help to deliver growth and prosperity for the whole region.”

The options:


Chard & Ilminster News:

The orange option is the original route proposed by HE. It bypasses Henlade and runs to the north of Stoke St Mary. 

Junction F is an all-movements junction on the M5. 

Junction E connects between West Hatch, A378, Henlade and Hatch Beauchamp.


Chard & Ilminster News:

The pink option bypasses Henlade and runs alongside the current A358. 

Junction A will allow traffic to join southbound M5 from the A358, or leave northbound to the A358. 

Junction B connects Taunton and the M5. 

Junction C is the connection between Ash, Henlade, A378 and Hatch Beauchamp. 


Chard & Ilminster News:

The blue option bypasses Henlade.

Junction A will allow traffic to join southbound M5 from the A358, or leave northbound M5 for the A358. 

Junction D connects Taunton and the M5. 

Junction E is the connection between West Hatch, A378, Henlade and Hatch Beauchamp.

So which option do you think is best? Vote in our poll below. To respond to the official consultation use the Have Your Say link below (colours selected at random):


TAUNTON Deane Borough Council is encouraging residents to participate in the new consultation. 

Leader of the council John Williams said: “This is a long held ambition of ours and our partners across the South West.

“Clearly we had concerns, as did others, about the single option consultation which took place last year and are pleased that Highways England agreed to undertake this additional consultation.

“We will be assessing the options and the detailed information that sits behind them once it is made public today.”

The council’s Community Scrutiny meeting on February 6 will be considering a draft response to proposals before Taunton Deane’s response is finalised.

Cllr Williams added: “The council was clear - and remains clear - that we want to see the project deliver an effective Henlade bypass while providing a safe and convenient access to both Taunton and the Nexus 25 development – the large employment site close to the M5 junction.

“It is important that those people interested in the project go to the consultation events and provide their comments to Highways England."

THE public consultation events, offering people the chance to see the proposals and meet with members of the project team, will be held at the following:

· Saturday, 20 January – Holiday Inn Taunton, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton TA1 2UA, 12 noon-8pm (visitors asked to register vehicle details at reception on arrival)

· Tuesday, 23 January – The Monks Yard, Horton Cross Farm, Horton Cross, Ilminster TA19 9PT, 12 noon-8pm

· Wednesday, 24 January – Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall, Village Road, Hatch Beauchamp, Taunton, TA3 6SG, 12 noon-8pm

· Friday, 26 January – Holiday Inn Taunton, Deane Gate Avenue, Taunton TA1 2UA, 12 noon-8pm

· Thursday, 1 February – The Wyvern Club, Mountfields Road, Taunton, TA1 3BJ, 12 noon-8pm

· Wednesday, 21 February – St Mary Village Hall, Stoke St Mary, Taunton, TA3 5BY, 9.30am-12 noon

· Wednesday, 21 February – Ruishton Village Hall, Ruishton, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 5JD, 2pm-5.30pm

And information will also be available to view, from 16 January to 27 February, at the following local information points:

· Taunton Deane Borough Council, The Deane House, Belvedere Rd, Taunton

· Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset

· Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton

· South Somerset District Council, Brympton Way, Yeovil

· South Petherton Library, St James Street, South Petherton

· Martock Library, Martock Shopping Centre, Martock

· Ilminster Meeting House & Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster

· Henlade Post Office, Henlade

· Somerset County Council Mobile Library

· Blackbrook Leisure Centre & Spa, Blackbrook Way, Taunton