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Dual Carriageways

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when work to dual the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton will (a) begin and (b) conclude; and if he will make a statement; (97024)

(2) what plans there are to dual additional stretches of the A303 over the next decade; and if he will make a statement.

We are currently considering the inter-Departmental Review Group's report on options for improving the A303 past Stonehenge and will announce our conclusions in due course. The timing of other proposed improvements to the A303 to the west of Stonehenge, and the A358 between Ilminster and Taunton, will be influenced by our conclusions on the Stonehenge scheme. In considering the timetable for these scheme we will also take account of the south-west region's advice that, within the regional funding allocation for major transport schemes in the south-west, a start should be made on either the A303 Stonehenge scheme or on the A303 Ilminster bypass improvement and improvements to the A358 to Taunton within the next 10 years, and that other A303 schemes are for the longer term, beyond 2016. The Highways Agency is continuing to prepare the A303 Ilminster bypass improvement and improvement to the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton so that these schemes can be considered for entry into the targeted programme of improvements in due course.