Surveys will help build a business case to improve North Devon Link Road

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Posted on: 8 February 2016

Businesses in North Devon and Torridge will be invited to take part in detailed surveys over the next couple of months.

Devon County Council will be consulting with companies in the area throughout February and March as it develops its business case for improving the Link Road.

The County Council has recently received £1.5 million from the Department for Transport to start work on investigating the options for upgrading the Link Road. It follows an initial consultation into potential improvements to the North Devon Link Road in 2014, which demonstrated considerable support for an improvement to the route, and led to representations being made to Government by Councillors and MPs.

Currently, the average speed on the road is 47mph and only 15% of the route has overtaking lanes. The Link Road needs improvement to meet forecast traffic increases and support economic growth.

As part of the survey, it is necessary to build up a detailed picture of travel patterns of businesses in the area. Some companies will be contacted direct and will be asked to have on-site interviews, while others will be asked to carry out the survey online.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The future economic growth of North Devon will depend on an efficient Link Road that provides reliable journey times. A lot of work needs to be done, including in-depth surveys with the business community, so the support of companies in the area is critical to this project. I hope that all companies in North Devon work with us to help develop a preferred scheme and ensure our business case is as robust as it possibly can be.”

Councillor Andrew LeadbetterBriefings will also be undertaken with Councillors at Torridge District Council, North Devon Council and Devon County Council this month.

Devon County Council has received £609,000 from the DfT for work being carried out this financial year and into 2016/17, with a further £891,000 being made available to develop the project beyond 2017. This adds to the £1 million budget which the County Council had allocated for developing designs.

Data from traffic surveys carried out last year are being analysed to get a better understanding of the traffic using the North Devon Link Road. This information will be looked at in detail with the business surveys to develop potential options. The intention is for this information to be shared at a public consultation later in 2016.

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

More information is avaialble here.

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