A30 route options to be considered in public consultation
Posted on: 1 August 2016
Three potential route options to improve the first section of the A30/A303 between Honiton and Ilminster have been unveiled by Devon County Council as it launches a two month public consultation this week (Wednesday 3 August).
Devon County Council is promoting and developing the A30 Honiton to Devonshire Inn section to a preferred route stage with the aim of securing funding through the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, which outlines investment in the strategic road network.
Highways England is currently developing improvements to the A358 and the A303 east of Southfields and on other sections of the A303/A30.
The A303/A30/A358 corridor provides a main arterial link between London and the South East with the South West peninsular. The schemes, when constructed, will support growth and contribute to unlocking the economic potential of the region.
The County Council is proposing that 8km (5 miles) of the existing single carriageway stretch between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn (the junction of the A30 with the A303) should be replaced.
The scheme lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a nationally protected landscape, so Devon has adopted an environment-led approach in developing options. A dual carriageway has been ruled out because forecast traffic flows are too low to justify the high costs of construction and because it would require much more land than a single carriageway, resulting in additional adverse environmental impacts on the AONB.
Plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions over the coming weeks as part of the consultation, which runs until Friday 30 September.
The authority is seeking the views of the public on potential route alignments before it makes a decision on its ‘suggested route’ for the scheme which can be considered as part of the South West Peninsula route strategy.
The route options are:
The BLUE NORTH route would start at the junction of the A30 and the A35 and would make use of the existing road to Dean’s Cottage, with widening provided to the north side of the road so that property boundaries on the south side of the existing road would remain as at present. Access to existing residential, farm and commercial properties between the A30/A35 junction and Dean’s Cottage would be provided from the widened road or local service road. From Dean’s Cottage, and a local connection to Monkton, the route would curve east to bypass Monkton to the south and east. It would then pass to the west of Monkton Barton before continuing north to climb Reddick’s Hill, then crossing Viney Lane in the vicinity of Cotleigh Crossing. From Cotleigh Crossing to Devonshire Inn the route would make use of the existing A30. A new simple T-junction layout would be provided where the A30 meets the A303.
The BLUE SOUTH route would commence at the junction of the A30 and the A35 and would make use of the existing road to Dean’s Cottage, with widening provided to the south side of the road so that the existing road boundary hedge on the north side of the existing road would remain as at present. There would be a need to acquire some property. The remaining properties would be accessed from the widened road or a local service road. From Dean’s Cottage the route would follow the same alignment as BLUE NORTH.
The ORANGE route would also start at the junction of the A30 and the A35. Immediately to the east of Otter Valley Park, the route would proceed in an easterly direction to climb the south side of the River Otter Valley, passing to the south east of Holmsleigh Farm before turning north to run along the top of the ridge to the west of Viney Lane at Hedgend Road. From Hedgend Road, the route would continue northward to the west of Viney Lane to Cotleigh Crossing where it would continue to follow the line of the BLUE route.
All scheme options are estimated at around £170 million and will comprise a wide carriageway with three lanes, which provides sufficient long term capacity. It will be laid out with two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other to enable overtaking in one direction, alternating along the route.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The A30/A303 is a vital piece of strategic infrastructure, providing our most direct road link from the South West to London and the South East. However, the existing road doesn’t meet modern standards and presents a number of challenges. Businesses in the region view the route as unreliable and a constraint to the economy of the area. This public consultation is an opportunity for people to express their views on the first stage of the scheme proposals. Improvement of the A358 will deliver extra capacity but we also need improvements to this section of the A30/A303 in order for the Devon economy and that of the wider South West to start to realise its potential.”
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael’s, said: “This section of the A30/A303 is in need of an upgrade in order to support not just the local economy but also the economy of the wider south west region. An improved link will also ease access to Honiton, which is important for local businesses. Its vital that people take part in the consultation as their feedback will help inform how the scheme is progressed.”
Councillor Paul Diviani, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Paul’s, said: “I am delighted that Devon County Council is taking such a positive response to our section of the A30. It is such an important part of the region’s connectivity and the proposals will improve the quality of life for all users, whether on long or short distance journeys.”
The existing road has sharp bends, steep gradients, poor visibility and limited safe overtaking opportunities which results in congestion and higher than average risk of road traffic collisions for a modern trunk road. The proposed scheme options are expected to reduce the number of accidents by one third, improve journey reliability, and the resilience of the strategic road network, while supporting economic growth in the South West.
In developing the proposed scheme options, Devon County Council has followed national guidance and procedures to undertake a number of environmental studies. Ecological, landscape, heritage, noise, geology, air / water quality issues, have all been explored as well as the consideration of materials and the effect on people and communities.
The County Council has also ruled out a number of options including –
– A bypass to the north of Monkton, due to the effects on the floodplain, the setting of the church and buried remains of a medieval village;
– An option using the existing road alignment at Reddick’s Hill due to large impacts on the landscape and ecology; and engineering/construction difficulties.
– Split direction at Reddick’s Hill due to a combination of road safety, environmental and engineering reasons.
Consultation exhibitions will be held at the following venues:
Thursday 4 August, 8am – 6pm – Honiton Show
Friday 5 August, 2pm – 8pm – Upottery Village Hall
Saturday 6 August 10am – 6pm – Upottery Village Hall
Tuesday 16 August, 12pm – 8pm – Monkton Court Hotel
Saturday 20 August, 10am – 6pm – Mackarness Hall, Honiton
Saturday 10 September, 10am – 6pm – Upottery Village Hall
Information about the potential schemes, including plans, the leaflet, a visualisation and the online questionnaire will be available at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay from 3 August. Printed copies of the leaflet are available at Libraries and Council Offices.
More information is available here.
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