A303 Funding Good News For Dorset As A Whole
9:21am 2nd December 2014
Major improvements to the A303 transport corridor in North Dorset could have a huge impact on the rest of the county.
Dorset County Council believes we could see £4.7 billion come into the county's economy with ports like Portland seeing significant benefits because the developments would mean better transport for freight traffic.
They also claim the work will bring in £2.6 billion to the tourism trade.
As a long-term campaigner for improvements to the congested A303, MP for North Dorset Bob Walter has welcomed the announcement.
He said: "The announcement has been long-awaited and will be welcomed by all across north Dorset dependent on the A303, not to mention the millions of visitors who suffer terrible congestion each year in order to enjoy all that this area has to offer.
"I'm delighted that the Coalition Government has fully considered the undeniable economic case for investing in this strategic route and picked up the gauntlet so unceremoniously dropped by its predecessor.
"Investment in the A303 will not only boost jobs and growth, but increase the South West's resilience to major traffic incidents and flooding, the need for which has sadly been demonstrated time and again in recent years."
Dorset County Council has lobbied Government for the 'whole route improvement' of the A303 corridor, as part of a group of local authorities led by Somerset County Council.
Dorset County Council Cabinet member for Environment and the Economy, Peter Finney said: "This really is excellent news. Dorset County Council and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) both support improvement to the whole of the A303/A358.
"Recent economic studies suggest that major improvements to the A303/A358 corridor could inject £41 billion into the South West's economy and create in excess of 21,000 jobs regionally.
"But it's not just good news for our local economy. The A303/A358 improvements will also provide significant environmental and community benefit by relieving traffic pressure on the A350 and C13 in North Dorset."
The full A303 corridor - including the A358 from the Ilminster roundabout to Taunton and the A30 - will be upgraded as part of a £2 billion roads investment strategy.