A303 could win in Budget, says business chief
Expectation is growing that one of the most restrictive bottlenecks in the region may benefit from next week’s Budget.
Delays on the A303 at Stonehenge are notorious but the route, known as the holiday highway for the hordes that pack it during the high season, has trouble points all along its length, with the A358 and A30 also problematic.
But Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Somerset Local Enterprise Partnership, suspects a competition will be held to find road schemes for state backing.
It follows conversations with ministers and the postponement of a summit with Transport Minster Stephen Hammond on the A303-A358- A30 scheduled for Monday – two days before the Budget – that was delayed “for the right reasons”, Mr Jones said he was told.
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This squares with speculation surrounding the Budget, and David Cameron’s insistence on Wednesday that the country should be “using the strength of the Government balance sheet to encourage private sector capital”.
Business leaders say a faster route would benefit the region’s economy by about £1.1 billion annually. But environmentalists argue sensitive landscape and habitat on the Somerset-Devon border risks being destroyed.