Consultation on highway improvements for A30 Honiton to Devonshire Inn

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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

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

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

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson

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 DivianiCouncillor 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.

21 comments on “Consultation on highway improvements for A30 Honiton to Devonshire Inn

  1. Bruce Messer says:

    Any chance of a map?
    How daft can you get a proposal of a new road with no idea of what exactly is being proposed!
    I assume that they’ll need one when they send the JCB’s in so it’ll be money well spent.

  2. Graham Harvey says:

    I fully support the proposals to upgrade the A303/A30 between Ilminster and Honiton but do not think a three lane road is the answer. They are too dangerous and a dual carriageway should be constructed using some of the money set aside to up-grade the A358 between Ilminster and Taunton. The proposals for up-grading the A303 South Petherton to Ilminster should obviously remain. With modern technology the dual carriageway would not spoil the Blackdown Hills as shown by the Oakhampton By-pass in Devon.

  3. Graham Harvey says:

    I fully support the idea of developing the A303/A30 from Ilminster to Honiton into a proper alternative to the M5 which has experienced a number of closures in the past month due to accidents and other incidents. The M5 is already full to capacity on many days during the summer months and most weekends in the year. The money assigned to improving the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton M5 junction should be diverted to the construction of a dual carriageway from the up-grade of the existing A303 from South Petherton to Ilminster roundabout onto Honiton. There would be then a proper dual carriage road from the Exeter Junction with the M5 right the way through to Wincanton by-pass. The road could be constructed with the appropriate planting of trees etc to enable the road to blend into the surrounding countryside similar to the various bypasses on the A30 and other roads. This would encourage people from London and South East travelling to Devon and Cornwall to use this road rather than A358 and M5 and would also benefit many people who live in the South of Somerset. Equally there is then only a short distance on the M5 till it ends and splits into the A30 and A38 dual carriageways.

  4. Susan smith says:

    A three lane proposal for the A30 is ridiculous,you only have to look at the accident record for the Illminster by pass- it is a dreadful stretch of road – it certainly doesn’t stop bottle necks and it just causes serious accidents. If we only get three lanes it will be huge monies wasted because in a few years time they will relook at the A30 and say it needs a dual carriageway. why for once can’t the residents,visitors and commerce have a dual carriageway not some half baked idea of three lanes. we deserve to have decent road systems in the south west, other parts of the country have them. If we want the south west to thrive we need to have the infrastructure. So come on do the right thing build a dual carriageway which is fit for the future – the future of the south west – without causing more fatalities.

  5. stuart says:

    the present road would be better than a half ***** 3 lane system that doesnt work,i am a lorry driver and the ilminster by pass and north devon link road system causes bottle necks ,which results in queue jumping and accidents dual carriage way is the only way to do this ,if not the people responsible for signing this 3 lane system off should held accountable for the first fatality that will happen,i drive 400 kilometers a day and 2 lane roads allow all be it slow but do allow travel ,bottle necks cause tension bad driving ,listen to the comment on here no one wants the 3 lane road you will be held responsible .

  6. Dylan John says:

    An area so reliant on agriculture needs a full dual carriageway rather than the three lane approach. This would allow for slower vehicles to continue their journeys without inciting dangerous overtaking manoeuvres and maintain a decent flow of traffic on this essential arterial route. It’s important to remember that the benefit of this road is not only for local traffic, but for the benefit of the economies of the whole of the South West peninsula, and whilst a three lane solution may appear to be a short term fix, it’s still going to outgrow its purpose in the medium to long term [see North Devon Link Road and Ilminster Bypass for proof].

  7. Jeremy Hall says:

    Another summer season arrives and with it our guests – 11 hours from the channel ports, 9 hours from London – very embarrassing for us in the tourist business – the A30/303 dualling was promised years ago, three lane roads do not work (Ilminster bypass is a prime example of a weekend carpark) – please you politicians let us have some joined-up thinking, look at the old scheme again from the A35 link at Honiton right up to Ilminster – the M5 link is not a long term solution as the motorway is often blocked south of Taunton – the south west deserves better transport links including a good safe road direct from London – the M3 Winchester bypass proved that road building is compatible with the environment – so Devon Council thanks for trying but please think bigger and better (and safer?)

  8. eric hardinge says:

    I think a three lane road would be an expensive mistake, it should be dual carriageway all the way. Please look at the mistakes made in the past .

  9. Martin Dowse says:

    Here we go again regurgitating the same old debates about the ANOB and a three lane carriageway. Have we not learnt from the Ilminster by-pass which claimed a life in its first day of operation! We need a well designed dual carriageway which will save lives, enhance life for the people of Monkton and make the journey along the A303/A30 a 21st century experience for holiday makers and commerce alike.The South West needs much better connections on Road and Rail this will be a small part in connecting up the jigsaw. Thought needs to be put into the A30 junction with the M5 at Junctions 29/30. Will they cope, I think not in their present configurations. What about the section of A303 from Ilminster to the Devonshire Inn past Marsh? Where does that fit in to the equation?Lets have an educated debate and then progress this road which could have been built in 1997 until we voted in Tony Blair!!

  10. Terry Payne says:

    Ilminster Bypass, North Devon Link west of Tiverton etc etc. Dangerous three lane highways which should have been built as dual carriageways. The costs of upgrading these roads make it unlikely we’ll see it, so why make the same mistake yet again? Dual carriageways please for all the good reasons in the previous comments. If the argument is cost, wouldn’t it be better to think about the quality, capacity and usefulness of what is being provided as well as how many lives will be saved!

  11. Mike Allen says:

    experience with a similar arrangement past Yeovil shows that accidents are possible with cars travelling at 50 mph or more in each direction. A dual carriageway improves traffic flow immensely well and avoids both east and West traffic potentially being blocked by an accident.

    Yes it is more expensive but it saves lives and disabling accidents

  12. Charlie & Julia Hutchings says:

    We agree with all the other comments. We are in the tourism business and we are all working hard to increase tourism, so a dual carriageway is the only way to deal with the current traffic problem in the long term. Three lane roads are frustrating for everyone and are potentially hazardous.

  13. Rex Ingram says:

    I agree with the previous comments, that the upgrade should be a dual carriageway as every other A303 improvement has been between M3 and South Petherton during the past 25years. M3 to Cornwall via A303 should be considered as a whole and used to provide a much shorter and separate route than M4 and M5. Please don’t waste money on half-measures with a 3lane road. Also, during previous planning consultations, we were always advised that having two separated carriageways (rather than two carriageways alongside each other) would be much easier to plan and less damaging from an environmental perspective.

  14. Robert McNamara says:

    Any improvement on that stretch of road would be really welcome but I do agree with previous comments that whole section needs a dual carriageway that would relieve the strain not only on the M5 and A303 but also on the A358 Ilminster – Taunton M5 ‘link’.
    The 3 lane alternating section at Ilminster whilst perhaps not ideal is an improvement and unfortunately there will always be the occasional mishap no matter what sort of arrangements are in place.

  15. Colin Trudgeon says:

    Why waste time and money? What is needed is dual carriageway all the way to give Devon and Cornwall a viable alternative to the M5. This bit would make a useful start to that. Producing a 3 lane road is spending money to create a major safety hazard. Maybe less collisions in number, but they would produce far higher serious injury and fatal ones due to higher speeds and drivers taking risks due to frustration at the end of their overtaking section. Think back to the A38 in the pre M5 days.

  16. john sallis says:

    Replace the entire road with a dual carriage way from the Honiton bypass to the A30 round about.
    Devon / West country badly needs this improvement, don’t waste money on half measures

  17. Derek Meyer says:

    A three lane road is better than the present set-up but there will still be the odd person who will want to overtake in the wrong place. A dual carriageway would be safer.

  18. peter Vicary-Smith says:

    Whatever road option is chosen, please surface it to minimise road noise – and do the same for the other stretches of the A30 in Devon, which blight enjoyment of countryside and even the National Park

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