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Fears over potential delay to A303 improvements
MOTORISTS may face frequent congestion on the A303 for longer than expected.
Plans to improve the main road connecting the South-West to London suffered a setback after ministers said a feasibility study into the options is not due to finish before spring 2015.
Campaigners say the route should be dualled to cut traffic and the number of collisions on the busy stretch, but there are fears that it may never come to fruition if there is a change in Government at the 2015 General Election.
A Somerset County Council spokesman said: “We were extremely pleased that the study was announced in the summer following the work that Somerset and our neighbouring authorities undertook to get this scheme back on the Government’s agenda.
“The scheme would bring considerable economic benefits to the South-West and Somerset businesses.
“We’re increasingly concerned about the time it’s taking to develop the scope of the study and have written to the Department for Transport (DfT) to seek assurances that work will start as soon as possible.
“We hope the Government recognises that there are sections of the route which already have identified solutions that could be delivered on the ground relatively quickly.
“We urge the Government to ensure that the study is designed to move things forward and get improvements as quickly as possible.
“We’ll continue to work closely with the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport on this issue.”
The council, alongside Devon and Wiltshire county councils, has claimed it might not be just drivers who reap the rewards of upgrades to the single carriageway roads, but more than 20,000 jobs could be created as a result.
A DfT spokesman said: “We’re committed to tackling the most notorious road hotspots in the country, and that includes the A303 corridor.”
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