Online consultation launched on North Devon Link Road improvements


Posted on: 27 June 2016

Devon County Council has launched an online consultation on options for improving the North Devon Link Road.

The local authority is currently investigating options for upgrading the route, having been allocated £1.5 million from the Department for Transport to develop a business case over the next couple of financial years. This is in addition to the £1 million budget which the County Council had allocated for developing designs.

An initial consultation in 2014 revealed considerable support for improvements to the Link Road, with over 90% in favour.

Around 17,000 new homes and 85 hectares of employment land is planned for the area over the next 15 years and enhancements to the Link Road would help meet the needs of this development.

The consultation puts forward two preferred options, both of which improve traffic flow to reduce journey times between the M5 and Northern Devon, as well as tackling congestion at peak-times between Barnstaple and Bideford, and improving safety by reducing the number of fatal and serious accidents on the Link Road.

The first option is to upgrade junctions which are currently pinch points. This is estimated at around £35 million.

The second option, estimated at £150 million would improve links and junctions. This would build on the junction improvements and would also develop stretches of road with three lanes to enable overtaking opportunities in alternate directions.

No improvements are planned to the section of the Link Road from the M5 to Tiverton which is currently dual carriageway. The focus of the improvements will be on the 20 mile section of the route between South Molton and Bideford.

Following evaluation, the County Council has ruled out three options for failing to meet key objectives. These are:

– Doing nothing. If the road was not improved it would not be fit for purpose as traffic levels increase, particularly with proposed development planned for the area;

– Dualling the road presents environmental concerns and would cost an estimated £500 million, which offers poor value for money and exceeds available funding opportunities;

– Public transport improvements would not meet all of the scheme objectives.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “This online consultation is an opportunity for everyone to find out more about what options have been considered and it’s also a chance for people to have their say on what option should be taken forward. We want to hear from people who live in the area and use the North Devon Link Road, and feedback from the questionnaire will inform how we make further progress on improvements.”

To take part in the consultation please visit Responses need to be submitted by Friday 29 July 2016.

For those without a computer, publicly available computers with broadband are available in all Devon libraries.

In addition to the options consultation, a business survey is already underway to build a picture of travel patterns by local companies, and this will continue into the summer.

The County Council will submit a strategy for improvements to Government in the Autumn. Further evaluation of the preferred option will be carried out before another public consultation which will provide more details on phasing and impact of the improvements.

The consultation and other surveys will inform a business case and scheme bid for a share of the Government’s £475 million Local Majors Fund.

More information is available here.

11 comments on “Online consultation launched on North Devon Link Road improvements

  1. Stephen hopkins says:

    The government put speed limits for lorries up to 50mph on single carriageways , but supper market lorries still travel at 40 mph and make no attempt to let the traffic behind pass , they should be made to travel 50 mph or pull over into lay-bys periodically to let the traffic by, it’s the same on motor ways , supper market lorries travel a 50mph and when it’s busy they are like rolling roadblocks , this would help safety as people would wait for a safer place to pass , I am a truck driver and see this happening all the time ,

  2. Diane Millen says:

    Surely the proposed improvement of the Link Road will just be a”sticking plaster” and the money spent will be wasted in the long run. If significant amounts are to be invested would it not be better to do the job properly and spend the extra to dual it as there will be as much equipment, manpower etc involved and as much disruption. It seems we can always find the money for improvement in other regions of the UK and for foreign aid – why not for North Devon?

  3. Bryan Ansell says:

    More signage does not help the situation, it is a distraction

  4. Bryan Ansell says:

    In my opinion the money from the government should be used to dual carriageway as much as it has the money for, also to include the bridges.
    In ten years time, the traffic flow will be even greater, so do it now and continue Improvement of widening, when more money becomes available.
    Sadly, what I indicated to Tony Speller, many years ago, has now come to fruition, i.e. too much traffic for miles of single lane

  5. Gary Moore says:

    Why on jct 27 didn’t they use the new didgital signs on the m5 to say, use both lanes for north Devon at busy times. I’ve seen a single lane of traffic queued on to the motorway and the left lane empty up to the round about.

  6. Adrian White says:

    Maybe the council could look at the model of the Ilminster bypass (A303). This is not dual carriageway but traffic moves quickly and efficiently due to westbound and eastbound traffic taking it in turns to have priority in the overtaking lane.

  7. Doug Dowling says:

    !st a Well done for the inprovement to the Roundabout approach to Jnc 25 M W Very good,But how about the trees and Shrubbery on the iLand still makes it hard to see the traffic comming from your righthand side,how about giving it a Haircut>

  8. Martin Standen says:

    At present, the termination of three lane sections on the link road are accidents waiting to happen. Why not consider the South African system where three lane sections terminate with the slow lane having to give way and merge into the overtaking lane, plus minimum speed restrictions for vehicles using the overtaking lane. It wont solve the capacity issue but may well make the road safer and less frustrating.

  9. graham beer says:

    we have to make the best of a poor past decision, and money is tight as always for our part of the world, but traffic flow is the essential main issue. if you can maintain a steady 50-60 mph ie evenings and early mornings no one gets upset and tries to overtake where they can endanger them selves or others, if we dual hills that helps,if we widen roundabouts to two long approaches that helps, unlike the money spent recently on the roundswell roundabout where long vehicles struggle to stay in lanes and the approach road stay congested, so poor value for the spend. widening bridges would also be prohibitive so dual around those would not improve the overall flow of vehicles

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