Preparatory work starts on pedestrian and cycle bridge at Roundswell

Roadwork signRoadwork sign

Posted on: 10 January 2017

Preparatory work is underway to develop a new pedestrian and cycle bridge at Roundswell in Barnstaple.

The £2.7 million scheme for the crossing over the A39 is due to be completed in July. The majority of the construction work will take place off the highway with minimal disruption to local roads and traffic. Work that will impact on traffic on the A39 is planned for June and will be undertaken at night to minimise disruption.

The scheme is being part funded with £1.879 million from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP), through its Growth Deal with Government. Match funding is being provided through Devon County Council and developer contributions.

The bridge forms the second phase of highway infrastructure improvements for the Roundswell area. The first phase of work, which was completed in 2014, included the upgrade of the roundabout on the A39 and construction of a second roundabout on the B3232 for access to new employment sites south of the A39.

Further highway improvements are identified to develop a Park and Change car park within the employment land at the southern end of the bridge. The bridge design will also make provision for widening of the A39 as part of Devon County Council’s commitment to major road improvements to the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road corridor.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “A significant proportion of the scheme cost is being funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and by taking advantage of external funding opportunities like this, we can deliver safer facilities for pedestrians and cyclists that may not otherwise not be achievable. The bridge will offer an alternative to a signal crossing on the A39 that would impact on traffic movement and road safety at this busy junction. This scheme is further investment in northern Devon, and ensuring infrastructure is in place will help to attract future high quality employment opportunities to the area.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) LEP, said: “I am pleased to see that work will be starting on the new pedestrian and cycle bridge at Roundswell. This is another of our Growth Deal investments which bring strategic benefit to the wider area of the Heart of the South West by unlocking development sites and improving strategic transport routes. This new bridge will greatly improve the efficiency of the road network by providing a safe crossing that doesn’t slow up traffic.”

Cllr Frank Biederman

Councillor Frank Biederman

Councillor Frank Biederman, Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural, said: “I am pleased to see this scheme moving forward, which will contribute to reducing commuter delays in this in the area, something I have been campaigning hard about. I am also pleased to see that the design has allowed for an extra two lanes to be added if we are successful in obtaining money to upgrade the A39 between Barnstaple and Bideford. I believe this is what we desperately need between North Devon’s major towns. Clearly this is a great location for a Park & Change facility. I had concerns at the cost of the scheme initially, but it has been though a competitive tender process to ensure best value and the overall cost is being supported by external funding that is dedicated for this scheme.”

Barnstaple is a strategic growth area for North Devon, with Roundswell an established employment and residential area that will expand significantly over the Local Plan period to 2031. Expansion to the south of the A39 requires good transport links to support sustainable travel and the new bridge will provide a safe crossing facility, connecting Roundswell on both sides of this busy strategic road corridor.

Work will be carried out by contractor Dyer & Butler.

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