A303 road

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The A303 is a trunk road in England. The A303 is the main road between Basingstoke in Hampshire and Honiton in Devon. The M3, A30 and A303 make up the main route from London to South West England, running from London to Land's End in Cornwall. The A303 is almost continuously dual carriageway, except at Stonehenge and Chicklade in Wiltshire, and the Blackdown hills in Somerset. The Secretary of State for Transport announced major road widening schemes in 2003, including to the A303.

On June 5 2003, 12.5 km of improvements, including the new 2.1km bored Stonehenge road tunnel under Stonehenge were announced. On September 4 a public enquiry into whether the plans are adequate was announced, concluding on May 11, 2004, that they were, despite protests from charities and landowners that the tunnel should be longer.

The other improvements are: Wyle to Stockton Wood, Chicklade to Mere, Sparkford to Ilchester and the Ilminster Bypass.

In November 2004 plans to improve the route through the Blackdown Hills were abandoned in favour of upgrading the A358 from Ilminster to the M5 motorway at Taunton to reduce traffic west of Ilminster.

Because of the A303's fame as the main route from London to the Glastonbury Festival and Stonehenge (also a festival site) it was the subject of a song, 303, by pop group Kula Shaker on their number one hit debut album "K" in 1996. It was also mentioned in the Levellers' song Battle of the Beanfield, about the attack by police on travellers celebrating the Solstice at Stonehenge (1st June, 1995): "Down the '303 at the end of the road, Flashing lights, exclusion zones". A sign for the road was also featured on the label for the Universal Indicator Yellow album (see the Discogs link (http://www.discogs.com/release/35224)), perhaps a dual reference to the Roland TB-303 synthesiser (featured heavily on Universal Indicator recordings) and to Cornwall the home of Universal Indicator artist Richard D. James.

References

  • Clark, A., 2004, "Darling to signal roadbuilding rethink" in The Guardian, Nov 27, 2004 [1] (http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,9061,1360805,00.html).
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