A VIRTUAL exhibition is being held next week, so residents can find out more about plans to dual a section of the A303.

It was announced earlier this month that construction of a dual carriageway, between the Podimore roundabout near Ilchester and the Sparkford roundabout, will start in September this year.

READ MORE: A303 dualling set to start in September, says Highways England

The upgrade, which is set to cost between £130 and £160million, is scheduled to open to traffic in 2024.

Highways England will be updating people on the plans during the exhibition this month and questions can be put to the project team.

Hannah Sanderson, programme manager for Highways England, said the scheme is ‘incredibly important’ to Somerset’s future.

“It is vital to the A303 / A358 corridor, and is part of the biggest investment in our road network for a generation alongside the A303 Stonehenge tunnel project,” she said.

“From a project perspective, it’s exciting that we are now close to works starting in September, with the scheme supporting economic growth and facilitating a growth in jobs and housing by creating a free-flowing and reliable connection between the south east and south west.

“It will also tackle a long-standing bottleneck, reduce journey times to the south-west and improve traffic flows in that area at peak times and during peak seasons.

“While closures will be kept to a minimum, I’m sure local residents will have questions around the latest plans and traffic management, so we encourage everyone to join the virtual exhibition.”

The virtual exhibition will run from midday until 8pm on Thursday, July 22, and Friday, July 23.

Lee Nathan, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) South West regional chairman, added: “Upgrading the single carriageway sections of this important route is key to supporting the south west economy, particularly as the only alternative route via the M4 and M5 into the south west is already heavily congested.

“FSB believes that more investment should be directed to improving key links on the A road network across the UK as a way of supporting our local regional economies.

“As a result, we are wholeheartedly in support of this new scheme.”

Main construction work will start during 2022 and there will be closures during this time, however Highways England has said these will be 'kept to a minimum'.

To access the virtual exhibition visit highwaysengland.co.uk/a303-sparkford-to-ilchester/.