North Devon Link Road improvement plans approved
Posted on: 1 February 2019
Devon County Council has approved plans to improve the North Devon Link Road.
The County Council’s Development Management Committee has granted planning permission to upgrade 11km of the A361 between Portmore roundabout, Barnstaple, and Filleigh Cutting at South Molton.
This includes widening of three sections of the Link Road, covering 7.5km, to create three traffic lanes, two in one direction and one in the other direction.
These sections are from Portmore roundabout to Landkey, Harford to Swimbridge and Swimbridge to Filleigh where there is currently only one lane in each direction. These stretches will be widened to provide clearly marked overtaking sections with a one-metre hatched strip separating opposing vehicles.
The investment will address safety concerns about the existing road while also increasing capacity at junctions and improving connectivity.
The lengths of overtaking sections are designed to reduce congestion and avoid slow vehicles from backing up queues of traffic.
To address concerns about excessive speeds, average speed cameras will be provided – a proven safety measure used on similar roads elsewhere in the UK.
The development will also improve two junctions – providing a junction and bridge at West Buckland, and a roundabout would be developed at Landkey.
Councillor Jerry Brook, Chairman of the Development Management Committee, said: “The committee supports this application because these works will improve the safety and efficiency of the A361. This is a busy and popular route, and it is important that these improvements are made.”
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “This is a once in a lifetime chance to get safety and journey time improvements on the North Devon Link Road. The safety of all road users has been upper-most in the design of the proposals. The development will improve the journey experience for road users, in terms of predictability, time and reduced stress. It also makes it easier and much safer for local traffic to gain access to the road and cross the road.”
During a public consultation in 2017, 83% of those who responded agreed with the need to improve the North Devon Link Road between South Molton and Bideford. North Devon Council and a number of local parish councils have supported the application. There were also no objections from Highways England, Historic England, Natural England and Environment Agency.
The application is part of the wider £93 million scheme to improve the North Devon Link Road, which also includes improvements at five other junctions; Buckleigh Road, Heywood Road Roundabout, Westleigh Junction, Bishop’s Tawton Roundabout and Borner’s Bridge.
Devon County Council is due to submit its full business case for the scheme to the DfT in summer 2020. The authority successfully bid for £83 million of Local Majors Funding earlier this year. The Department for Transport (DfT) will make a final decision on the funding once it has reviewed the full business case.
Work is due to start in Spring 2021, with Landkey roundabout being the priority.
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