Consultation on highway improvements for A30 Honiton to Devonshire Inn
Posted on: 19 July 2016
A public consultation on proposals to improve the A30 near Honiton will be launched at the Honiton Show next month (August).
Devon County Council is developing route options for the scheme and will be holding a two month consultation, starting on Wednesday 3 August and running until Friday 30 September.
The Council is proposing to replace the existing narrow, substandard single carriageway in the Monkton area with around 8km (5 miles) of new road between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn (the junction of the A30 with the A303).
The scheme will comprise a wide carriageway with 3 lanes. It will be a laid out with two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other to enable overtaking in one direction, alternating along the route.
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.
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
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 is expected to reduce the number of accidents by one third.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “Since getting the support of the Roads Minister last year to progress with proposals for this section of the A30, the County Council has been continuing with the project, collecting data and ensuring environmental studies are carried out in order to develop options. We have now reached the point where we want to put options to local people and hear their views. The improvements will aim to improve journey reliability, safety and the resilience of the strategic road network, all of which will support economic growth in the South West. Feedback from the consultation will help inform the eventual development of a preferred option which will be submitted to the Department for Transport.”
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael’s, welcomed the possibility of improving this next vital section of the A30 in Devon. She said: “Honiton is well positioned, with easy access to the national road network, its excellent choice of shopping and a great place for business and employment. It serves the needs of both local residents and travellers alike and the opportunity to reduce travel times helps get our goods to market, increase productivity and reduce local congestion. Just look at how the new Turks Head junction has helped ease queuing and made journey times more reliable. We need the same along the A30/303 to encourage more holiday makers from the south east to explore Devon.”
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.”
Following the consultation, further environmental assessment will be undertaken. The aim will be for a preferred option to be included in the Government’s next Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2), which will cover 2020 to 2025. If successful, it is expected that Highways England would then be requested to continue the development of the project and fund the construction cost.
Initial studies on the route were undertaken by Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Wiltshire Council and the Heart of the South West LEP in 2013. Of the 650 businesses surveyed in the A303 Corridor Improvement study, 89% identified journey time reliability on the route and disruption to business travel as problems.
It also found that improvements would transform economic performance in the south west peninsula, providing the potential to produce 21,400 jobs, generate £41.6 billion to the economy (GVA), as well as reducing fatal or serious casualties over 60 years, while also improving transport resilience to cope with incidents and flooding.
In December 2014 the Government’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS) outlined investment in major dualling improvements on the A303/A30/A358 to create a Strategic Corridor to the South West, while also committing to “smaller scale improvements” between Honiton and Southfields.
In February 2015, possible ways forward were presented to the then Roads Minister John Hayes, and a decision was taken to progress the section of A30 between Honiton and Devonshire Inn. Since then, work has been ongoing to collect data and develop options which will be presented at the public consultation.
More information is available here.
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