Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

New Link Road is ‘vital’ for North Devon’s future – MP

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:51 04 February 2016

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones is backing calls for a better North Devon Link Road.

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones is backing calls for a better North Devon Link Road.

Archant

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones explains why he’s backing the Gazette campaign for a Better Link for North Devon.

Devon County Council is putting forward a business case for the development of the North Devon Link Road. Picture: Andy Keeble Devon County Council is putting forward a business case for the development of the North Devon Link Road. Picture: Andy Keeble

Securing major improvements to the link road is vital for the future of North Devon.

A bold statement, maybe, but I honestly believe it’s true.

The A361 is our only major artery. Residents, commuters, visitors, delivery lorries, farm traffic, school buses – we all have to use it. And it’s clearly no longer fit for purpose.

There are multiple problems. The most obvious is that the road is only a single carriageway for most of the route.

What can you do?

Write to Peter Heaton-Jones at Church House, Church Lane, Barnstaple, EX31 1DE or email peter.heatonjones.mp@parliament.uk

Write to the North Devon Gazette at Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX31 8PB or email andrew.keeble@archant.co.uk

Tweet your support using the hashtag #ABetterLink

The few overtaking lanes are in short stretches which merge back into single lanes with very little notice, which leads to excessive risk-taking.

That’s one of the factors which makes the road so dangerous. Given its length, the link road sadly has a higher-than-average number of accidents in which people are killed or seriously injured.

The junctions, too, are potential death traps, with often no ‘filter lanes’ in or out of the main road.

And, perhaps the biggest problem now and in the future, is that the link road cannot cope with the volume of traffic. As the population grows we’re seeing jams with increasing regularity; it’s not just queues on summer weekends any more.

"If we want more businesses to create jobs here and more visitors to boost our vital tourist industry, this work has to be done."

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones

But improving the link road is about more than solving those problems. It’s also about securing real economic growth in North Devon.

If we want more businesses to create jobs here and more visitors to boost our vital tourist industry, this work has to be done.

I began campaigning for improvements even before I became North Devon’s MP last May. Once elected, the lobbying began in earnest and I took every opportunity to put our case to the Treasury and the Department for Transport.

That’s why I was delighted when the Chancellor announced that Devon County Council is getting £1.5million to kick-start the planning process. That cheque arrived in the post last week, coinciding with the launch of the Gazette’s campaign.

When the reports are done, we can bid for a new pot of money – nearly half a billion pounds – created by George Osborne in his Autumn Statement in December.

We’ve made good progress in the last nine months, and I’m determined to see it continue. We won’t get it done overnight, but we must get it done.

It’s vital for North Devon’s future.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:19

Users of Bideford Lighthouse Project have told the Gazette how it has changed their life - as it secures funding for a new peer mentor scheme.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30

Free family event with live music at Ilfracombe’s Landmark Theatre on Thursday, December 21

Read more
Yesterday, 14:33

Historic ship needs a £3.75m Heritage Lottery Fund bid to be successful if it is to sail again in 2019

Read more
Yesterday, 11:15

The Lundy Company has been fined £30,000 for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured when falling through a roof.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10

The bid for funding for a £250million package of improvements to the North Devon Link Road will be handed in to Department for Transport on Monday

Read more
Yesterday, 07:24

Firefighters free a woman who was ‘medically trapped’ in one of the cars

Read more
Wed, 17:27

Will festive video go viral? St Michael’s Nursery in Barnstaple is racking up the social media views for its Christmas video debut

Read more
Wed, 13:30

There are proposals for a cycle bridge across the North Devon Link Road from Seven Brethren in Barnstaple

Read more
Wed, 12:04

New leisure centre at Seven Brethren approved by council planning committee this morning (Wednesday)

Read more
Wed, 09:27

A teaching assistant is fundraising to bring her husband’s family to Devon for Christmas after their home was ravaged by a tropical hurricane. Can you help?

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications