Ceremony marks re-opening of A379 at Slapton
Posted on: 26 October 2018
An official ceremony has been held to mark the re-opening of the A379 at Slapton.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP was among the guests at the event, which was well attended by representatives from the local community and local businesses.
Devon County Council Chair, Councillor Caroline Chugg, unveiled an interpretation panel detailing the timeline for Slapton, including the repairs which have been delivered.
Contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd has realigned two sections of the road which had been washed away in March. These sections of the route, between Slapton and Strete Gate, have been moved further inland as part of Devon County Council’s scheme.
Due to the environmental sensitivity and designation of the area, the County Council has worked closely with the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Field Studies Council throughout the scheme to preserve wildlife. A major programme of environmental mitigation work is already underway to manage key features of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Some areas are fenced off to enable shingle vegetation to recover and re-establish itself, an area of boardwalk is being rebuilt, areas of marshland are being recreated and scrub is being maintained to help the population of Cirl buntings.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes, said: “This isn’t just a road, this is a link between all the communities along this coastline. I think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to all those involved. This was a real partnership and a real tribute to everyone involved.”
Councillor Caroline Chugg, Devon County Council Chair, said: “Everyone should take great pride in what’s been achieved here – it has been an ambitious project, and the local community’s patience and understanding has been appreciated. We need to continue working through the Slapton Line Partnership to address ongoing resilience and adapting to future coastal change.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I’m sure everyone was pleased to have the road open in time for half term. It’s fitting that Sarah Wollaston was with us today as she was instrumental in securing funding for the scheme. This new route has been built to be more resilient – we never know what mother nature will throw at us but we hope this road will be here for years to come.”
Councillor Julian Brazil, County Councillor for Kingsbridge and South Hams District Councillor, said: “A big thank you to everyone. Let’s hope it will last for at least another 20 years.”
Councillor Richard Foss, South Hams District Council Ward Member for Allington and Strete, said: “It’s really good to have the road open again. Hopefully we won’t have any more beasts from the east in the near future.”
Work is progressing well on the installation of a new sheet pile wall, to improve a 70 metre stretch of existing sea defences immediately north of Torcross.
Two-way traffic lights will be in place opposite the ‘Tank’ car park until repairs are finished before Christmas. Access to the car park will remain unaffected.
Improvements are also being planned for the local road network. More passing bays and possible minor junction improvements will be developed to make it easier to travel on alternative routes in the area.
Posted in: Community | DCC Homepage | Environment