Plans for £250million North Devon Link Road funding ‘on track’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:00 16 August 2017

Feedback is being sought on more detailed proposals to improve the North Devon Link Road. Picture: Andy Keeble

Feedback is being sought on more detailed proposals to improve the North Devon Link Road. Picture: Andy Keeble

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A consultation on the North Devon Link Road has received over 500 responses - but it should be ‘fast-tracked’, says county councillor.

A consultation on multi-million-pound plans to improve the North Devon Link Road has had more than 500 responses.

The proposals for the A361 and A39 included widening sections of the road between Bideford and South Molton, and removing right-hand turns.

Devon County Council (DCC) is now working through the 560 responses before it publishes a report, and prepares its application for funding.

The business case to the Department for Transport will be looking for £250million to upgrade the road, and an application is on track to be submitted in December.

But county councillor Brian Greenslade said two fatal collisions on the North Devon Link Road have made the public ‘more committed’ to seeing safety improvements.

Councillor Greenslade praised the number of responses to the county council’s consulation on safety improvements on the A361 and A39.

He said: “Regrettably the county council can only move forward with the support of the Government.

“Department of Transport procedures are laborious.

“Such is the serious nature of recent accidents I have called for the improvements to the link road to be fast tracked and have written to the MP asking him to try and secure a visit by the Secretary of State for Transport to North Devon to meet with concerned members of the community in round table format to try and bring forward the improvements needed.”

In his latest newsletter, North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said he was working with DCC ‘to ensure this is the strongest bid possible’ for funding.

He said: “We have had 20 years of inaction, with no plans and no prospect of bidding for funds. In the last two years, we’ve turned that around.

“DCC has now been given £1.5million of government money to draw up these plans, and there are now at least two possible pots of government money we can bid into for the major work.

“Frankly, the situation is more positive now that at any time since the Link Road was first built.

“I want to ensure we get this done, and that everyone gets their voices heard during the process.”

A collision on the A361 on July 30 resulted in the death of nine-year-old Keira Ball, from South Molton.

A second collision the following day killed Jane Baker-Lockett, 43, and her two 12-year-old children, James and Amy Gaskin, from Milton Keynes.

Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses from the collision on July 30.

Sgt Jane Corkhill said: “We are particularly interested in speaking to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or anyone who was driving along the A361 in the Swimbridge area between 11.30am and midday on the July 30. We are also very keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage who was in the area.”

Witnesses can email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101 quoting 0383 of July 30.

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