David Warburton MP demands progress on dualling A303
from the Prime Minister
25th January 2017 – David Warburton, MP for Somerton and Frome, asked Theresa May at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) that she confirm that the Government press ahead rapidly with plans to dual the lethally dangerous sections of the A303.
David explained to the Prime Minister and MPs in the House of Commons:
“On the 27th of December another young woman lost her life driving through the West Country on the A303. In the past decade more than a thousand people have been killed or injured on that road.
“For 40 years, governments have promised to dual the lethal parts of the road – where two lanes become three and back again with no central reservation.
“The queues on the road are also legendary, and I know the government has committed to an upgrade, but can the Prime Minister assure us that the proposed tunnel beneath Stonehenge will not hold up essential work elsewhere and we’ll soon see cones on the road and spades in the ground?”
The Prime Minister confirmed that the whole A303 will indeed be dualled, responding:
“We’ve committed to creating a dual carriageway on the A303 from the M3 to the M5. I understand Highways England have recently launched a consultation into the route under Stonehenge and my Right Honourable Friend will want to look closely at that issue. This is all part of our £2billion investment in road improvements that will improve connections in the South West, but I can assure him that we have road safety at the forefront of our mind.”
David Warburton said today, “It’s crucial that the Government’s plans to upgrade the A303 are implemented as soon as possible. I am also very keen to ensure that that any enormous-scale projects like the proposed tunnel under Stonehenge do not hold up quicker and easier, equally essential works elsewhere.
“It’s appalling that so many lives are still being lost on sections of the A303 which could and should be improved and upgraded now. I will continue to put pressure on the Prime Minister and the Department of Transport to make sure Somerset gets what it needs.”
In October 2015, Highways England set out plans to use the Government’s £2 billion Road Investment Strategy to improve roads in the south west, including dualling the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester (www.gov.uk/government/news/details-of-2-billion-south-west-roads-plan)
At the time Roads Minister Andrew Jones MP said, “We’re upgrading key roads like the A303 and A30 and building a new junction on the M49 near Bristol. This will create a new strategic corridor to the South West and complete the dual carriageway into Cornwall so that hardworking families can have better access to jobs, shops and leisure facilities.
“We will also be dualling the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester and the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and A303 at Southfields. These 3 schemes are the first steps in our aspirations to provide an expressway between the M3 and the South West.”