Most of the 150km route is dual carriageway, but a 5.6km stretch of single carriageway between Sparkford and Ilchester in Somerset suffers from congestion, queuing and higher than average accident rates due to poor junction alignment and visibility.
National Highways, formerly Highways England, initiated a scheme to construct a new 5km section of dual carriageway between Sparkford and Podimore to help alleviate congestion and reduce accidents on the route. Due to the size of the scheme, it was classified as a nationally significant infrastructure project, and we were involved from options identification and assessment through to development consent order (DCO) submission and examination.
National Highways chose our Moata Carbon Portal for the project over its own carbon assessment tool to evaluate carbon emissions associated with construction and to inform the scheme’s environmental impact assessment (EIA). Our tool enabled carbon hotspots to be identified and targeted, and low-carbon alternatives to be implemented, with our design solutions cutting carbon emissions on the project by 46%.
After submitting an environmental statement as part of the DCO application, we received no objections from statutory environmental bodies. The Secretary of State for Transport granted development consent for the scheme in January 2021. Since the A303 upgrade, all our projects in the south-west for National Highways use Moata Carbon Portal to assess emissions.