Consultation launched on North Devon Link Road improvements

North Devon Link Road traffic

Posted on: 9 June 2017

Potential improvements to the North Devon Link Road will be the subject of further public consultation being launched by Devon County Council today (Friday 9 June).

The County Council is putting forward a scheme option to upgrade the route between South Molton and Bideford, and is giving people the opportunity to comment on them before further developing the scheme.

The proposed upgrades would provide between 40% and 50% of the route (depending on the section) with alternating overtaking opportunities, compared to the current 10%. Safety would be improved with the removal of all right-turn movements across the link road, and access to development sites at South Molton, Barnstaple and Bideford would also be improved to support economic growth. The estimated cost of the full scheme is £250 million, although it could be built in phases.

As well as an online questionnaire at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay/ a number of exhibitions will also be held at:

Consultation map

Friday 16 June       Green Lanes, Barnstaple          9am – 5pm
Saturday 17 June  Green Lanes, Barnstaple          9am – 5pm
Tuesday 20 June   Town Hall, Bideford                 12pm – 8pm
Friday 23 June       Amory Centre, South Molton 12pm – 8pm

There will also be an unmanned exhibition at Taw View from Monday 24 July for one week.

Feedback from the consultation, which continues until Friday 28 July, will inform further refinement of the option so that an application can be made to the Department for Transport to fund the scheme.

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste Management, said: “Previous consultation and our initial studies have enabled us to focus on specific areas of the route, and we now want to hear people’s views on the scheme option we’re proposing for the section between South Molton and Bideford. This is a vital scheme for the future growth of northern Devon’s economy and feedback will help us further develop a preferred option for the Outline Business Case.”

Proposals being consulted on include –

South Molton to Barnstaple
An option is being put forward to widen the road to provide more overtaking opportunities and to improve the junctions. This would consist of:

– The Borner’s Bridge Junction would be upgraded to a roundabout. With this new roundabout in place, right turns in and out of the Hacche Lane access would be banned to improve the safety of the junction.

– Between Filleigh Viaduct and Swimbridge Cutting, there are opportunities to widen 3 miles (5 km) of the road to provide overtaking opportunities.

– The current favoured option to improve West Buckland Junction is for an overbridge to enable the right turn and crossing movements to take place without conflicting with NDLR traffic.

– Between Swimbridge and Landkey, 1.2 miles (2 km) of road could be widened to provide overtaking opportunities.

– Between Landkey Junction and Portmore Roundabout, the road would be widened to provide 3 lanes with overtaking. In addition a roundabout would be provided at the Landkey Junction to improve the safety of the junction and be a catalyst to the development at Westacott.

Around Barnstaple
The section around Barnstaple has traffic flows of around 25,000 vehicles per day and a large amount of development is planned which will require additional road capacity. Junctions would be improved and the existing road would be widened to provide two lanes in each direction with a central double white line. This is a high capacity urban four lane road with a speed restriction.

– The road would be widened between Portmore Roundabout and a proposed new roundabout to the west of the existing junction with Brynsworthy Lane.

– Capacity would be increased at Bishop’s Tawton Roundabout.

Barnstaple to Bideford
The road would be widened to provide further overtaking opportunities and to improve the junctions.

– Between the new Brynsworthy Roundabout and Westleigh Junction, the road would be widened to accommodate the proposed two plus one carriageway.

– Westleigh Junction would be improved by widening the road to create an additional westbound lane through the junction. The existing Heywood Road Roundabout would be improved by widening the approaches to increase capacity.
No improvements are being considered between Tiverton and South Molton at this stage, as it carries the lowest volume of traffic with around 15,000 vehicles per day. This section also has a few overtaking places on the hills and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are located nearby.

A preferred route will be recommended to the County Council’s Cabinet later in the year for approval and inclusion in an Outline Business Case which will be submitted to the Department for Transport in December.

The Outline Business Case will prioritise sections of the preferred scheme. This is likely to result in three separate costed options being submitted with one being a preferred option. If the application is successful and government funding is available, the preferred option will be further developed and planning permission sought.

The results of previous consultation last year showed strong support for improvements, with 95% of respondents agreeing the need for a scheme, and businesses backing improvements.

Consultation questionnaires can be completed online at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay/ , returned at the exhibitions or sent to Transport Planning, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD transportplanning@devon.gov.uk

More information on the scheme is available at: https://new-devon.gov.uk/ndlr/

4 comments on “Consultation launched on North Devon Link Road improvements

  1. John Dodds says:

    We live in Hacche Lane,outside South Molton.
    My comments are broken down to issues immediately around us and secondly more general.
    Firstly dealing with issues in the immediate facility.
    The Borners Bridge Junction is a local accident black spot and needs a radical solution and my fear is another roundabout will add to congestion at peak times.The Whitechapel roundabout already backs up at peak times and another roundabout in such close proximinity will merely add to the congestion.My proposal is therefore for a grade separated junction similar to that being proposed at the west Buckland junction.In my view, such a junction at Borners bridge is more important than at The West Buckland junction.

    The Hacche Lane junction should be closed and replaced with a bridge to re-connect the 2 sides of Hacche Lane which will connect us with South Molton again.I believe this was the original proposal when the Link Road was conceived but was dropped for some reason.

    The section of the Link Road between Aller Cross and Borners Bridge has progressively got noisier over the years. I think this is due to 2 matters;firstly the tree and planting screening as part of the original Link Road construction has never been implemented and secondly,I was advised that a surface was to be used that would reduce tyre noise.This has not occurred and therefore I request that both these are included as part of any proposal to improve the Link Road.

    Improvements should not just be the users of the Link Road but also for those who live near it.

    My more general point is that I believe there are 2 options.
    1) The more radical is to dual carriageway the whole length of the road from Tiverton to Bideford with proper mitigation for households along the route.This would mean the closure of most access junctions and local traffic re-routed onto improved local roads.
    2)The second option is manage speeds on the Link Road by removing all overtaking lanes and opportunities so that there is a single carriageway in both directions with no overtaking lanes or broken line overtaking opportunities with the result that average speeds would increase and accident dangers reduced.Allied to this option would be the need for average speed cameras similar to those on motorways.

    At the moment we have a middle ground which in my view,is the worst of all situations in that we have the inducement of overtaking lanes and broken white lines that encourage speeding and frustration which leads to poor driving and accidents.

    Drivers seem to forget that that the speed limit on the Link Road is 60mph for cars and if the road was engineered so that people could drive at that speed without the need or desire or indeed the encouragement to overtake, then it would be a lot safer.

    I would be grateful if you take these comments into account

  2. Adrian Woolf says:

    Slower speed restrictions for lorries cause most of the problems. It means all vehicles following lorries are slowed too and they take risks to overtake. Lorries should not be restricted to lower speeds on this road as has been the case, it is asking for trouble. 60mph for all, traffic would flow better, fewer risk, fewer problems, fewer accidents. Simple.

  3. David Beacham says:

    The whole road from Tiverton to Barnstaple needs dual carriageways, anything else is a waste of money as it is only a short term solution. This is a very dangerous road which should never have been built as it was and for the sake of the business interests in North Devon a faster and more efficient road is desperately needed as well as reducing the huge cost to the economy of the many accidents on the road.

    • David Wheeler says:

      I couldn’t agree more with David Beacham.
      Why waste money just tinkering with the problem? Let’s solve it once and for all with a dual carriageway from Tiverton to Barnstaple.
      Often we’re just too cautious in our solutions and, thereby, create more problems to be resolved in the future.

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