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A303, A36 and M4 improvements

A303, A36 and M4 improvements

A303, A36 and M4 improvements

Highways England work programme

The Highways Agency has now been replaced by a new government company named Highways England. This company manages the A36, the A303 and the M4 in Wiltshire.

Their priorities are set out in their delivery plan.

A303 improvements

Highways England are currently carrying out feasibility work on the A303/A30/A358 Corridor – potentially creating up to 35 miles of dual carriageway between Amesbury in Wiltshire and Honiton in Devon which will improve connectivity, journey time reliability and road safety.  This includes the Amesbury to Berwick down dualling which seeks to address congestion and reduce impact on the Stonehenge World Heritage Site by:

  • increasing the road width from single to dual carriageway to provide more capacity
  • improving junctions to help the flow of through traffic
  • moving the road so that it no longer passes through the village of Winterbourne Stoke.

Updates can be found on Highways England’s A303 expressway pages. Their current timetable is:

Route options assessed 2015-16
Non-statutory consultation on route options 12 Jan – 5 Mar 2017
Announce preferred/recommended option  Sept 2017
Statutory consultation on proposed scheme 8 Feb to 6 Apr 2018
Submit planning application Late 2018
Start on site 2021 (planned)

Cycle Schemes

Highways England published their Accessibility Strategy in May 2016.  They also aim to:

  • Facilitate cycling on or near the trunk road network for all types of cyclist and make cycling on and over their network safer and easier; and
  • Reduce the impact of their network as a barrier to cycling journeys.

Wiltshire Council has asked Highways England to look at new cycle paths:

  • Across the M4 between Wootton Bassett and Swindon
  • On the A36 on Wilton Road between Park Walls and Skew Bridge or alternatively to bypass Wilton road by linking Park Walls to Quidhampton
  • On the A36 Churchfield Way North between Castle Roundabout and St Mark’s Roundabout
  • On the A36 Southampton Road between Bourne Way and Marshmead Close
  • Across the A303 Countess Roundabout in Amesbury

More information on the A36 cycle routes is available on the Wiltshire Council website.

The government agency Passenger Focus which represents passengers to bus and train companies, has now expanded its role to represent users of the strategic road network i.e. the A36, the A303 and the M4. This includes motorists, cyclists and pedestrians on these roads, but does not include people who live along these roads.  Passenger Focus has changed its name to Transport Focus.

Highways England is setting up a range of measures to ensure that it can engage directly with communities alongside its roads, and others affected by them. Further information will be provided on their website in due course.

Local Economic Partnership programme

Swindon and Wiltshire’s Local Economic Partnership (LEP) has set out a vision to improve transport in the county, and has secured funding through the Government’s Growth Deal to:

  • Increase the capacity of Junction 15 of the M4 – This is expected to take place between 2018 and 2020 and will not start until the improvements to Junction 16 have been substantially completed to minimise the disruption experienced by road users.
  • Improve Junction 16 of the M4, to support development at Wichelstowe – Swindon Borough Council is undertaking major works to remodel Junction 16 of the M4. Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd is carrying out the work, which is expected to be complete by Spring 2018.
  • Improvements to Junction 17 of the M4 – work started in August 2017 and is due to complete in early 2018.