Council proposes preferred route to government for A30 improvements


Posted on: 15 December 2016

Devon County Council’s Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday 14 December) agreed to propose a preferred route to government for a £180 million improvement scheme for the A30.

Councillors approved recommendations to put the “Orange Route”, as modified through consultation, to the Secretary of State as the preferred route, for his view and potential implementation.

It follows a public consultation throughout August and September during which the County Council presented three route options (Orange Route, Blue North and Blue South), to improve the A30 between Honiton and Devonshire Inn. More than 880 responses were received during the public consultation, in which 53% of respondents agreed that there was a need for improvements

The government confirmed in the Autumn Statement in 2014 that the full A303 corridor, together with the A358 from the Ilminster roundabout to Taunton, will be upgraded in addition to “smaller scale improvements” to the A30/A303 between Honiton and Southfields. It followed economic studies commissioned by Devon and Somerset County Councils to highlight the benefits of improvements. Hundreds of businesses and visitors were also surveyed which showed widespread support for improving the A30/A358/A303 route from the South West to the South East.

Research found improvements to the whole route could provide 21,400 jobs, a £41.6 billion boost to the economy and £1.9 billion in transport benefits from reduced journey times. An upgrade could also prevent more than 1,800 fatal or serious injuries over 60 years and reduce carbon emissions by 9%. Although the section of the A303/A30 between Honiton to Ilminster was not included in the government’s Road Investment Strategy 2015-2020, the government recognised that some improvements were necessary.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “There has to be a second strategic route into the South West to improve safety and give us resilience for economic reasons. We have been encouraged by Government and MPs throughout this process and this is the start of a long process. We’re only recommending it to Government – it’s not our road, so they will need to progress this and find the funding.”

Councillor Paul Diviani

Councillor Paul Diviani

Councillor Paul Diviani, County Councillor for Honiton St Paul’s, said: “Successive governments have been talking about improving this route since 1949 But unfortunately it’s all talk and minimal action. We must snap out of this complacency. The road is littered with speed roundels painted on the road through the Blackdowns indicating fatal accident spots. The Orange route has raised landscape and environmental impact concerns from the Blackdown Road Action Group and residents of Cotleigh and Upottery but sufficient mitigation measures will be put in place to reduce the effects of these on the AONB. At the end of the day there has to be a balance between the safety of human life and the environment.”

The County Council allocated funds to progress potential improvement options as an initial stage. These proposed improvements aim to encourage economic growth in the south west peninsula as well as the East of Exeter, and would also improve journey times, reliability and safety while minimising adverse environmental impacts through exemplary approaches to design and mitigation. The improvements would also ensure that any unavoidable impacts on the character and special qualities of the Blackdown Hills AONB are offset through a significant programme of compensatory measures and the inclusion of opportunities for environmental enhancement in line with AONB Management Plan objectives.

Devon County Council is planning to submit an Outline Business Case to the Department for Transport (DfT) early next year, with the aim of attracting Road investment Strategy 2 funding for 2020-2025. Although the County Council is proposing the wide single carriageway, featuring a two-plus-one lane layout with alternating overtaking opportunities, the authority is not proposing to adopt or approve any highway or other land that may be intended to be improved by the Secretary of State. Any further progress on the scheme would be carried out by the Department for Transport and Highways England.

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9 comments on “Council proposes preferred route to government for A30 improvements

  1. Chris Bryant says:

    A dual carriageway is the only acceptable road to build. We have seen what happens if you build the road as proposed just look at the Ilminster by-pass a death trap that 30 years after it was built is now going to be upgraded to dual carriageway. Save money and build a dual carriageway now. Unfortunately Devon County Council doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to roads just look at the North Devon Link road. Its a death road one which I and many others will go to any lengths to avoid.

  2. Jim Tregunna says:

    I like the orange route. Realistically it should be dual two lane, with no intermediate junctions. Speaking as a Cornishman, I bring a ghostly message of christmases future! We’ve had sections of 2+1 (Zelah bypass, Longrock bypass) in our otherwise excellent dual A30 for years. they just do not work. Not for local residents, not for local businesses and farms, not for the always welcome holiday makers. Our County council is building a dual road next to the 2+1 zelah bypass in the next five years, Progress! The Bodmin bypass dual extension onto Bodmin Moor opens soon, no more single lanes there, Progress! Bodmin moor AONB with a dual road right across? we done it years ago! Progress! The moors are still a rugged beauty as they always were, ansum. A30 Kernow Onen Hag Oll!
    Back on the orange route being a dual. The existing A35 junction at the Honiton end could provide local access to Monkton via a short B road link from the Canadian Cemetery road. At the Devonshire Inn end, the Dual two lanes would filter down to single lanes into the newly proposed junction redesign of the orange route. No roundabouts, streetlights, or vast new dumbell intermediate grade separated junctions, as was proposed in the 1995 scheme. The hill climb out of Honiton on the orange route is going to be in a cutting anyhow. In another 30 years time Devonshire Inn to Marsh might get done m’beauty!
    Now onto the Blackdowns AONB. Yes, tis a fine landscape of history and natural habitats, but, and yes t some tis a contreversial but, but it is a man modified landscape of plantings, field divisions, hedgings, cottages, hamlets and villages. Is lovely in the looking, but we did make it look this way over many centuries of our efforts and changing. I have faith in our esteemed British engineers to get a dual road done right an well, trest dyhmm!

    • Ruud says:

      That’s a great response Jim. Hope the right people are reading this as it all makes 100% sense!

  3. Geoff Hyde says:

    It would save a lot of time if you would please add the ‘Orange Route’ on the News Centre page so we can clearly see the correct routing.


  4. Penelope Law says:

    After several clicks, I cannot see the map. It is now hidden by a disclaimer. Can you just post a map of the proposed route?

  5. Ruud Jansen Venneboer says:

    Would have hoped to be able to see the ‘Orange Route’. Is it on this site anywhere? Thanks

  6. Graham Long says:

    The saga of the A303/A30 improvement debate needs to be resolved and has already taken too long. Dualing is the preferred option that was proposed, a route defined and properties compulsory purchased in anticipation of it going ahead in 1995. Governments of all political persuasion have vacillated ever since with the claim that the country does not have enough money to complete the work. We will never have enough money for the south west but a government that is prepared to spend £55Billion on shaving 30 minutes off of train times between London and Birmingham has a duty to spend money on A303/A30 improvements NOW. It is a very poor show that our MP Neil Parish who has supported dualing the road for years has apparently turned coats on this and claims the DCC proposal needs rethinking. Well Neil if you can get your government to spend the £55Billion in the south west, I am sure the A303/A30 could be put in a tunnel and avoid your concerns about despoiling the Blackdown Hiils. I am speaking as a resident in the Blackdown Hills

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