Neil Guild, the Labour party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane at the next general election, responding to news that £2 billion would be invested on improving roads in the South West, said:
“This is good news for residents, businesses and visitors to Somerset. The improvements to remove the existing single-lane bottlenecks on the A303 and the A358 will bring real economic benefits to Taunton Deane and relief to anyone who has spent a long, hot Friday afternoon sat in traffic on the A303. These changes will make it much easier to reach Taunton Deane from the wider South Coast area, allowing Taunton and Wellington to build on their strategic location in the South West.
The most valuable of publicly owned assets
“In the long term simply building more roads is not the sustainable answer to the UK’s development needs, but it is important to maintain and improve the existing highways network. It remains amongst the most valuable of publicly owned assets; enabling huge economic activity, and underpinning the activity that we all undertake in our daily lives.
“I congratulate the staff at Taunton Deane and Somerset County Council for the work they have done in developing the case for the A303 and A358 investment and the successful lobbying they have done of government. Addressing the A358 was a vital part of delivering the long term infrastructure improvements that Taunton Deane needs if it is to thrive in the future.
“Attention now needs to be brought to bear on the acute traffic problems in Taunton itself and to improving Junction 25 of the M5. While it is positive that the Northern Inner Distributor Road (NIDR) will be completed in the new year there remains much to do if we are going to make Taunton an attractive location for outside investment.
“A final note of caution should be made that there is a history of governments announcing big infrastructure projects ahead of general elections only for them to be later quietly shelved. The A303 improvement has been brought forward many times over the past three decades and has yet to be put into action. Regardless of which party holds power nationally next year it is the job of politicians of all parties in Taunton Deane to ensure that the government delivers on this commitment”.
Neil Guild, Labour Party PPC for Taunton Deane – 07950700872
Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane