Reeten Banerji’s interest in a radical solution for the A303 is welcome.
My family and I have been stuck in the A303 traffic on an almost weekly basis and I share the frustrations felt by many of my constituents.
As someone who has held a debate on the subject in Parliament, presented a petition in Parliament, spoken repeatedly to local residents – especially the STAG group, and as a member of the Department for Transport’s feasilibity study working group, I am pleased to advise him that a solution is felt by many to be closer now than it has ever been.
Of course, he can be forgiven for coming late to this particular party, as he has only recently taken up residence in his new home.
The solutions he calls for are ones that his party’s councillor Ian West and many local campaigners have been working on for a very long time – in Ian’s case, considerably longer than myself.
Thanks to his and many other people’s resilience over many years, there are finally signs of willingness to compromise among the previously deadlocked interest groups – a necessity for real progress to be made.
I was pleased to see Liberal Democrat MP David Heath in attendance when I went to the most recent working group meeting in Taunton last Thursday. I am sure that Reeten will be able to follow up with David during his forthcoming visit to Salisbury and urge him to think about a solution for the whole route starting at Stonehenge rather than concerning himself entirely with what happens in Somerset.
I have spoken to successive Secretaries of State for Transport over the past four years and I have a meeting next week with the new Roads Minister to discuss what my constituents expect in December’s Autumn Statement.
MP for Salisbury