A303 Sparkford to Ilchester

We’re upgrading a three-mile section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, to make the road safer and more reliable. The delivery of this scheme is part of a long term aim to create a high-quality dual carriage way link between London and the South East and the South West.

Start date January-March 2020-21
End date 2023-24
Cost £100 to £250 million

Latest updates

  • 08 October 2021

    Start of work

     

    On Friday 1 October we marked the start of our work on the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester dual carriageway project. This £135 million road scheme will provide a major boost to the South West’s economy, whilst improving local journeys and making roads safer.

    Members of Parliament, and council members from across the region joined us for our first event on site. We visited the construction site, alongside Steart Hill, where teams are preparing the area for the first of our three office locations.

    Our current work is all about preparing the ground for construction. We're also building some temporary roads, which will carry the materials and site vehicles across the scheme, to reduce the impact on local roads and villages.

    Our main construction will get under way in 2022 which means we'll only have minimal roadworks on the road until early next year. 

    You can find out more about the project by visiting our virtual exhibition.

    We value your feedback

    Visit our A303 Sparkford to Ilchester feedback tool to have your say. The tool includes an interactive map. You can click on a location to make a specific comment or give us your general feedback.

     

    If you'd like a direct response to your feedback please email us at: A303SparkfordtoIlchesterDualling@highwaysengland.co.uk

     

  • 02 September 2021

    Progress update and September road closures

    Progress update 

    Volvo dumper trucks on site

    We are making good progress on our work to prepare the site for construction. For those of you who live in the area or drive on the A303, you may have seen the arrival of some large plant machinery this week. 

    Diggers on site

     

    We have created a new temporary access from a layby which will become the road to the site offices and also started work on one of our internal haul roads. These internal haul roads mean we can keep construction traffic separate from the A303, keeping local roads accessible and safe.  Where we have removed top soil as part of this work, we have reused it to create embankments alongside the access track.  

    Overnight work  

    From Monday 13 September – Saturday 18 September 2021 we will be doing some overnight work on the A303 between Podimore roundabout and Sparkford roundabout. We will be working between 8pm and 6am using temporary traffic lights to reduce traffic down to a single lane so that we can work safely. Emergency access will be maintained. 

    The work we will be carrying out is called coring. Coring enables our team to take samples of the road, which will show the layers and make-up of the road.  The work can be noisy at times as a drill is used to remove the materials from the road. We apologise in advance for any disturbance this work may cause you. 

    Layby closures 

    We have closed a few laybys alongside the A303 near to West Camel to provide a safe access from the main road into what will become one of the site working compounds. For safety, we ask road users not to access the closed laybys. 

    Virtual exhibition update 

    On Thursday 22 July we launched our virtual public information event in advance of work starting on site in September. The online event was a great success with almost 400 visitors over the first two days. 

    The most popular feature is our scheme animation and fly-through which demonstrates the project objectives and construction programme, alongside a computer simulation of the finished scheme. 

    We also provided a live chat feature for the first two days, where various questions were raised about managing the traffic during construction, diversion routes and road closures. The final roadworks programme is being completed and it will be updated on the website and via the regular scheme updates. 

    Don’t worry if you missed the launch of the public information event. It will remain available throughout the construction of the scheme and will regularly be updated. 

  • 22 July 2021

    Visit our virtual exhibition

    Starting work

    We’ll be starting work in September 2021. Before then you may see some of our team out and about preparing the site for construction.

    Virtual exhibition

    A303 Sparkford to Ilchester virtual exhibition screen shot

    You can now visit our virtual public information exhibition. ​Here you will be able to find out more about the scheme, our construction timeline and how we will manage traffic. 

    We will update the exhibition regularly for the entirety of the scheme, giving you the opportunity to follow our progress. 

    Your feedback

    If you have any feedback on our communications, please let us know by completing this short survey.

  • 28 May 2021

    Surveys and planning to start work

    Over the last few months, we’ve been completing various surveys and preparing to start work this autumn. 

    We are now finalising the detailed scheme design. This includes mapping out the construction programme and detailing what activities need to happen when. Here is a  map of the construction phases and timeline. 

    When we start work in the autumn our first task will be to build a site compound and set up fencing. We’ve listened to your feedback and will build a temporary internal road. This means we won’t need to use local roads to move materials and equipment. We’ll relocate wildlife and habitats in the construction area and clear vegetation where needed. We will also carry out further archaeology surveys to identify and record findings of historic interest.  

    We are developing proposals with Somerset County Council to connect the Podimore end of the scheme with a walking, cycling and horse-riding route across the A303 via Higher Farm Lane overbridge. We’re also looking at a traffic monitoring scheme for Sparkford village.

    Virtual exhibition

    We will be holding an interactive virtual exhibition in the summer to provide you with more detail on our construction programme. We'll share more details about this closer to the time.

    Your feedback

    If you have any feedback on our communications, please let us know by completing this short survey. 

  • 29 January 2021

    Planning permission granted

    On 29 January the Secretary of State’s granted the Development Consent Order to upgrade the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester.  We’re thrilled at this decision as this scheme will support a growth in jobs and housing by creating a free-flowing and reliable connection between the south east and south west. 

    You can view our application and the decision on the Planning Inspectorates webpage.

    A303 road sign

    We will now finalise the detailed design with our contractors, and currently anticipate starting on site later this year. We’ll provide more detail on next steps shortly. 

Project information

Overview

The A303/A358 corridor is a vital connection between the South West and London and the South East.

While much of the corridor is a dual carriageway, there are still over 35 miles of single carriageway. These sections act as congestion bottlenecks, particularly in the summer months and at weekends, causing delays to road users, and they add to an increased risk of accidents.

We're proposing to dual a three-mile single carriageway section between Sparkford and Ilchester. On an average day the road carries 23,500 vehicles, but numbers increase significantly in the summer, particularly at weekends making journeys unreliable and unpredictable. This scheme will reduce congestion, improve journey times and make our network safer for customers.

The new dualled section will start east of Podimore Roundabout and will follow the alignment of the existing A303 to Downhead. Travelling eastwards, it then moves north of the existing A303 single carriageway, allowing the existing road to be kept for use as a local road in this section.

The route then rises up West Camel Hill before crossing over the existing A303 at the junction with Steart Hill/Howell Hill. It then takes a southerly alignment before meeting up with the existing road again to pass between Vale Farm and the MOD signal station at Eyewell/Traits Land.

Finally, the route bypasses the existing Hazlegrove Roundabout to the north through the Registered Park and Garden associated with Hazlegrove House, before tying into the existing A303 Sparkford Bypass.

In delivering the scheme, we’re aiming to:

  • improve the capacity of the road to reduce delays and queues that occur during peak hours and at key times of the year i.e. the height of summer.
  • support economic growth, facilitating growth in jobs and housing by providing a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and the South West
  • make the road safer, by providing additional capacity and reducing driver stress. We’ll make routes safer for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders in the area.
  • protect the environment and look for opportunities to improve it, minimising any unnecessary impact of the scheme on the surrounding natural and historic environment and landscape.
  • work with local communities to reduce the impact of the road on a sense of community severance, and look for ways to improve local peoples’ quality of life
  • make journey times more reliable and resilient, by providing more capacity it will become easier to manage traffic when incidents occur.

Visit our A303 Sparkford to Ilchester feedback tool to have your say. The tool includes an interactive map. You can click on a location to make a specific comment, or give us your general feedback.

 

You can also find out more about the project and upcoming our closures by visiting our virtual exhibition.

If you require a direct response, please email us at: A303SparkfordtoIlchesterDualling@highwaysengland.co.uk

Documents

The Development Consent Order (DCO) process was established by the Planning Act 2008 and is used for certain large and complex schemes (including highway improvements) that have been designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the Government.

The Secretary of State for Transport granted the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester dualling scheme on 29 January 2021. Links to key DCO documentation can be found below:

You can view our full Development Consent Order application on the Planning Inspectorate website.

This includes documents identified under Article 43 and Schedule 9 of our Development Consent Order, which have been certified as true copies by the Secretary of State.

Development Consent Order – Requirements Register

Requirements are conditions that have been included in the DCO, which control how the project must be implemented (constructed and maintained). Implementing the DCO in accordance with these conditions involves completing consultation and approval processes that have been defined in the DCO. These processes are referred to here and in the DCO as “discharging” the requirements.

This Requirements Register is a live document and will be updated as the process to discharge the requirements progresses.

The latest version will always be published below:

View the Requirements Register.

This register will be maintained for three years following completion of the project. The register sets out:

  • each requirement
  • whether the requirement needs approval by the Secretary of State (or other duty holder)
  • whether any approval has been applied for or given

General Vesting Declaration documents

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.1 Plan (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.1 Plan (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.1 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.1 (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.2 Plan (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.2 Plan (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.2 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.2 (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.3 Plan (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.3 Plan (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.3 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.3 (unsigned)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.4 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.4

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.5 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.5

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.6 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.6

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.7 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.7

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.8 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.8

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.9 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.9

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.10 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.10

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.11 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.11

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.12 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.12

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration No.13 (signed)

A303 Sparkford to Ilchester General Vesting Declaration Plan No.13

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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