Road realignment at Slapton progressing well
Posted on: 7 September 2018
Work is progressing well on the scheme to reconnect the A379 between Slapton and Strete Gate.
Devon County Council Leader John Hart visited the site this week (6 September) along with Cabinet Member for Highway Management Councillor Stuart Hughes, and other representatives from the Slapton Line Partnership, to see the construction of the realigned route.
Contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd started work on the southern section of the road in July and the scheme remains on schedule to be completed in October.
The junction at Sands Road, Slapton, is currently being moved inland by around 10 metres.
Planning permission has recently been granted for the northern section of the road towards Strete Gate to be moved further North and West than previous plans allowed. The old road surface has already been removed from this section of the site.
The South West Coast Path is temporarily diverted onto the adjoining beach, but will be re-routed between the newly aligned road and the fringe of the Higher Ley upon completion of the scheme. Scrub clearance work will be needed for this, starting later this month, in order to minimise the impact on Cirl buntings and dormice. An ecologist is on site to ensure that wildlife is kept safe.
Devon County Council Leader John Hart said: “It’s important that the local communities are reconnected as soon as possible, and I’m pleased to see work is coming along well. While this scheme is intended to prolong the lifespan of this section of the A379, the Slapton Line will always remains a vulnerable area. We’re continuing to work with others in the Slapton Line Partnership to see what more might be done to address future resilience.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The reinstatement of the road is a high priority for the County Council so I’m pleased to see that work is on schedule for completion within the ambitious timescale proposed. The environmental sensitivity of the area means that we’ve had to develop very specific working approaches to minimise any adverse impacts. We are also pleased to be working with the landowner (the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust) and the Field Studies Council to incorporate positive measures for wildlife and to improve the visitor experience within the Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve.”
Councillor Julian Brazil, local County Councillor for Kingsbridge and South Hams District Councillor, said: “It’s good that things are progressing well. I would also like to thank local residents for being so tolerant over the summer holidays. I hope local businesses will soon be able to recover – I know it’s been very tough.”
Councillor Richard Foss, South Hams District Council Ward Member for Allington and Strete, said: “I am impressed at the way the work is proceeding. The effort taken to care for the environment is commendable and I look forward to driving down the new road once it’s complete.”
The A379 at Slapton has been closed since being washed away by Storm Emma in early March. The Department for Transport has provided the County Council with capital funding for the reinstatement scheme. The County Council is also investigating a series of related measures to improve the resilience of the road.
Alun Griffiths will hold its next drop-in surgery at Strete Parish Hall on Wednesday 26 September between 5pm and 6pm.
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