THE consultation on the upgrade of the A358 between Taunton and Ilminster is set to relaunch this month. 

Highways England has announced that it will begin the consultation again on January 16 to February 27 following feedback from the initial consultation last year. 

The A358 is set to be redeveloped as part of the government's £15billion road investment strategy. Plans will see the upgrade of all remaining sections of the A303 corridor between the M3 and M5 to dual carriageway standard. 

More options will be presented for the section between the M5 at Taunton and West Hatch, and more detail for the proposed dualling of the existing A358 between West Hatch and Southfields Roundabout on the A303.

Highways England has not confirmed the exact number of options that will be open for consideration. 

This follows from backlash from the county, district and parish councils across the area criticising Highways England for only providing one option in the first round of consultations. 

David Stock, Highways England project manager, said: “The A303 /A358 is a vitally important route, and we really want to find an appropriate solution to upgrading the route between the A303 and M5 near Taunton that will help to deliver growth and prosperity to the South West.

“The additional consultation will offer people the chance to have their say on a number of options, the details of which will be announced when consultation launches.

“We invite everybody to come along to the events and have their say. The more feedback we receive, the more it will help our decision-making as we take forward our plans, so we encourage you to complete a questionnaire online via our website or collected from one of our exhibitions or public information points.”

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.

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-12.30pm
• Wednesday, 21 February – Ruishton Village Hall, Ruishton, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 5JD, 2pm-5.30pm

And information will also be available to view, from January 16 to January 27, 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

Anyone wanting further information on the scheme can go to