Neroche Villages

Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by

Neroche Villages News



Neroche Housing Needs Survey

Top of page


A358 Update

Note:  Updates are added above previous items so scroll down to see earlier entries


November 2017 (2)

Highways England A358 Taunton to Southfields Update

Highways England sent this bulletin at 13-11-2017 03:30 PM GMT



Highways England

A358 Taunton to Southfields



Here is the latest information on the A358 Taunton to Southfields


There has been an update to this scheme regarding information on our consultation. For more information, go to the Progress report.

Editors note:  To see Progress Report go to



November 2017 (1)       Further information on A358 Supplementary Consultation

Neroche Parish Council discussed the supplementary consultation on the A358 at its meeting on 9th November.  This lead to concern which is outlined in the email correspondence shown below between Jon Bell,Chair of Neroche Parish council, and John Williams, Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council.

From: Jon Bell
Sent: 10 November 2017 08:49
To: John Williams
Subject: A358 consultation

Dear John
We discussed the latest news about this at Neroche PC last night and your letter was welcomed. However what dismayed my colleagues was the suggestion in the accompanying e-mail that the delay in re-opening the consultation arises from uncertainty on the part of Highways England over whether this should cover just the section from Lower West Hatch Lane or the whole route.

As three of the four options in the technical report propose use the existing road route between Southfields and West Hatch the only reason we could see for re-considering this section was that the fourth option in the report, the one which passes through Thurlbear, Staple Fitzpaine and Bickenhall was now being considered, despite being previously dismissed as too environmentally damaging. This route would be a disaster for our parish but a fear was expressed by some that the strength of opposition from those adversely affected by the initially proposed route has led to the resurrection of this previously dismissed option.

I wonder where your information on the reasons for the latest delay comes from, if you can divulge this without breaking confidentiality? If the route through our parish is being re-examined we will wish to make strenuous objections at the earliest opportunity and would also seek to know how this previously dismissed option has re-entered the debate.
I wonder if you would be able to reassure us regarding this possibility before we contact Highways England directly.

Best wishes
Jon Bell

From: John Williams
Date: 10 November 2017 at 09:32:13 GMT
To: Jon Bell
Subject: RE: A358 consultation



I will pursue this to seek reassurance direct but what I can assure you that in our attempts to find out more about the likely routes for consultation there has been absolutely no suggestion that this route is anywhere in the frame.

I suspect it is more about ensuring they are absolutely fair and equitable in their process of preliminary consultation so do they need to consult on the whole route from Southfieds or would it still be regarded as fair to just consult on the section from Lower West Hatch to the connection to the M5?

I suspect it is all about the possible threat of challenge on procedural grounds but I will see if I can get a more informed view and come back to you.

I am happy for you to share this email if it helps.

John Williams


August 2017

Supplementary Consultation




A358 upgrade proposal – the response from Neroche Parish Council to initial consultation

1.  The local view

Since the plans for the above scheme were announced the Council has discussed the issue at two parish council meetings, one of which was an extraordinary parish council meeting at which views were invited from the 70+ households present. The conclusions based on these discussions are as follows.


2.  The consultation is flawed


2.1   Insufficient detail of the proposed junctions and cross over routes is included in the proposal   There is a question over junction C and lack of clarity over how other junctions will work.

Cross over routes for local traffic are essential but there are no details of these at all. Without this we cannot adequately assess the impact on local residents and businesses.

Further consultation once these details are available is essential.


 3.  The overall form of the scheme is challenged


3.1 The main aim of the plan is to create a fast route from London and its surroundings into      Devon and Cornwall.  Upgrading the A358 is not the only way to do this. Many local residents feel this could be achieved better by upgrading the A303/A30 west of Ilminster, towards Honiton and Exeter. This would avoid exacerbating the existing congestion on the M5 at times of peak use, especially holiday periods.

3.2 Relief of existing congestion could be achieved by improvement to junctions at the Southfields roundabout and M5 Junction 25, which are the main cause of delays when the road is busy. The main carriageway is not usually the cause of problems.  The 3 lane Ilminster bypass section of the A303 is also a cause of delays where two lanes of traffic need to merge into one lane. Even if the A358 is improved this problem will continue and if it is not solved it will limit benefit from the proposed upgrade. The Ilminster bypass needs to be upgraded as a matter of urgency to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

3.3 Alternative options for upgrading the A358 are not considered. We are content with the proposed route from the Southfields roundabout to West Hatch Lane but believe that after that the road should continue along the existing route, with the addition of a bypass for Henlade and access to the new commercial site.


3.4 Congestion issues

Unless the pinch points at Southfields Roundabout and the M5 are rectified, the impact of the proposal will be that traffic will travel from one bottleneck to another. Traffic is often stationary on the A303 Ilminster Bypass during summer weekends. Dualling this road and relieving congestion points at either end would largely remove the need to dual the A358. The M5 is often at a standstill during peak holiday times, which supports the argument for dualling the A30/A303 west of Ilminster as well, to avoid adding to this congestion.


4.  More local details are needed 

4.1  Access to the new road will inevitably be restricted by the nature of the new road. However local businesses rely on the A358 to supply them and deliver their goods.  This is largely done by heavy goods vehicles.  The present plan would force these vehicles onto a small number of minor roads which could not cope with this in their present form. Many roads in Neroche Parish are single track lanes with few passing points and these struggle to cope with existing levels of traffic. There is no capacity to cope with an increase in traffic. We realise that increasing the number of junctions is unrealistic but consideration needs to be given to how local traffic will access the proposed junctions  and how improvements away from the main carriageway will be planned and funded.

4.2  Access across the new road is essential for local businesses and residents. These are numerous at present, even if in places such journeys involve short sections of travel on the A358.  While this will not be possible under the new scheme maintenance of as many existing crossing points as possible is essential, even if this needs some additional work at those which are no longer an exact match since construction of the Hatch Beauchamp bypass some years ago.  If crossing points are restricted those which remain will see increased use, imposing strain on the small local roads leading to them.  Some at least of these crossing points must be able to accommodate HGV and large farm vehicles.  It must also be agreed how any road improvements needed to facilitate them will be funded. Many of the local surrounding roads are unsuitable for HGVs.

4.3  Commercial and farm vehicles are an essential part of the local economy.  These join, leave and cross over the A358 without undue difficulty but will not be able to do so with the new road.  Restrictions imposed on such traffic will increase journey times and lengths and increase fuel consumption.  This will all increase pressure on local businesses even though one declared aim of the plan is to help them.  Some farm vehicles will not be able to use the new road at all.  Provision for them must be made but there is no information in the proposal as to how this will be achieved.

Many local farmers farm land situated either side of the current A358 (often with direct access) and this access will need to be maintained.

4.4 Leisure activities

The area is popular with cyclists, horseriders and ramblers. No account appears to have been taken with regard to non-vehicular traffic, and in particular its safety. Neroche Parish has several established livery companies and younger inexperienced riders regularly use the surrounding  roads. The parish also has two well used long distance footpaths, the East Deane Way and the Neroche Herepath. It is a popular location for cyclists and regularly hosts cycling events.


5.   What we wish to see      


5.1 Consideration of alternative and less disruptive ways to achieve a fast road from the M3 into the South West by

- Improving existing junctions at Southfields and M5 Junction 25 to improve traffic flow

- A plan to remove bottlenecks caused by the three lane Ilminster bypass, ideally by dualling it.

- Eventual upgrade to the A303/A30 to provide an alternative route not using the M5

5.2 If the above idea is not followed a direct link from the new section of the A358 to the employment site near Junction 25 should be considered.

5.3 Greater clarity over how proposed junctions can work without increasing pressure on small local access roads.

5.4 More detail about how many cross over routes there will be and what form they will take.

5.5 Greater assurance over what works to facilitate access to junctions and cross over points will be undertaken and how this will be funded.

5.6 Further detailed discussions with local councils.


Neroche Parish Council



May 2017 update on A358 Proposals        

Further Information on the proposed A358 scheme, alternative routes and objections

Stoke St Mary Parish Council have published on their community website details of the various routes considered by Highways England, including the single one put out for consulation.  The information is detailed, has maps and raises objections to the scheme and to the consultation process. 

Google "Stoke St Mary" for further information.

Top of page




Number 99 Bus service

Taunton - Chard Bus Timetable

Click here for daily timetable


Top of page


Top of page


Broadband Update


   The Broadband Update section of the website will endeavour to keep you up to date with

   what is happening locally by collecting sources of information for residents to peruse



Latest Broadband News


December 2017 update

It is now possible to go to the Connecting Devon and Somerset website to get confirmation that your premises is in the area due to receive a broadband fibre connection. Details of how to do this are in Lynne Spoors article below.

There is no official timetable yet available for when fibre will arrive in the parish but a source in Gigaclear believes that the survey work will be done by February 2018 and the fibre laid later that year.  All are strongly recommended to register an interest in the scheme via the CDS website.  It brings access to information when it is available with no commitment to ever use the system.

There is concern that the fibre serving a premises is due to be delivered by Gigaclear to a connection point on the nearest adopted (council) road.  This is reasonable for those with premises near the road but it would prove costly for those where the distance is greater, for example for those living on an unadopted drove or bridleway, or for those on whose premises is far from their boundary next to the road.


June 2017 update




The Successful Contract Bidder to Provide Superfast Broadband for Neroche Parish, Announced by Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS), is a Company Called ‘Gigaclear’


A message from Lynne Spoors, the Neroche Parish Councillor leading on Broadband issues for our parish…


The new Gigaclear contract will allow homes and businesses to access speeds of up to 1Gbps.  Gigaclear has won the contract to provide fibre broadband for the majority of the Devon & Somerset area, with completion by 2019/20.


CDS are currently working with Gigaclear to finalise the planning and timescales for delivery of fibre broadband and we are currently awaiting publication of the details to ascertain when roll-out for Neroche Parish can be expected.   I will keep a close eye on the progress and update everyone via the Email Alert as soon as I have more information.


In the meantime, the Parish Council strongly urges anyone interested in fibre broadband to visit the Gigaclear website at: and register your interest.


When you access the site, simply enter your postcode where it says “Can I get Gigaclear”, select your address and you will most likely be taken to a page showing “Progress in Buckland St Mary” with an update on progress (the CDS contracted areas are larger than the Parish boundary).  Page down and you will see the button “Register your Interest”.


We urge as many people as possible to register, so that Gigaclear can gauge the potential take-up in the area, which may influence (speed-up) the timescale for provision.”



January 2017 update 

A public meeting was organise by Neroche Parish Council on 19th January to enable Exmoor Technology to give details of their system for receiving G4 broadband provided by the mobile phone company EE.

They emphasized that this can be successful even is areas where mobile phones cannot obtain a useful signal.  They provide a flat, white aerial that is attached to the side of the premises which has a short cable that connects to a nearby router.  They can also provide additional ways of linking the incoming signal to a different room if the point of entry is inconveniently sited, e.g. in a loft.  They do a survey, discuss the owners requirements and provide a quote.  They batch the work so that they can survey or install kit in a number of premises on one day.

The details of costs for a voucher holder are outlined in the article below.  Those without a voucher would be looking at a cost of around £600, perhaps less.  The firm have said that while they are in the area attending to voucher holders they will do a survey free of charge and provide a quote.

One important point was that 4G broadband is more suitable for those who do not wish to send or receive a lot of video material (i.e. streaming films) because this uses a lot of data which is costly; please see the Exmoor Technology and EE websites for details.

I understand that many residents are getting surveys and quotes.  We will add more information when we hear how they find the system.




   Top of page  



From our parish clerk

20th June 2017

Somerset County Council Finger Post Sign Project


Somerset County Council is currently co-ordinating a project aimed at surveying and refurbishing all historic finger post signs within the county. This involves carrying out a condition survey on each individual finger post; identifying the work required to restore it; and, where practically possible, carrying out those restoration works.

The survey and refurbishment work involved will be carried out in each parish area by local volunteers. Somerset County Council is providing training workshops to assist these volunteers so that surveys and refurbishment works can be carried out competently and safely. Only volunteers who have successfully completed a training workshop will be allowed to carry out survey and refurbishment works on finger post signs. Work involving major refurbishment and/or in a dangerous location will be carried out by suitably qualified and approved contractors’ only.


Training workshops are scheduled for Tuesday the 18th July 2017 at Ruishton (Village Hall) and Tuesday the 25th July at Somerton (Edgar Hall). It is recommended that a minimum of three people per Parish Council should attend a training workshop. (Editors note: The workshops start at 9.30am and finish at 13.30pm).


Please can you let me know the names of those volunteers within your parish that would be willing to attend a training workshop and which of the two dates they would prefer to attend.


Please respond by Friday 30th June to


Please note places on the workshops are limited and some volunteers may be offered an alternative date.



Kind regards

Angie Cavanagh

Technical Support Officer

Somerset County Council

B2 West

County Hall

Taunton     TA1 4DY



Top of page


Top of page





Please ignore the rubbish below from a previous entry that we cannot delete from website 020 7219 3297 / Rosie Tate



.     More rubbish!



Blackdown Hills AONB
Neroche Hall
Community Council


Thurlbear School

Home                    Contact us                    Disclaimer