There’s ‘not enough money’ to dual the link road, says county council
PUBLISHED: 09:15 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:29 29 June 2016
People being asked to give feedback on two improvement options identified
Devon County Council has ruled out dualling the A361 North Devon Link Road.
The council is currently developing a business case for improvements, but says a dual carriageway would cost an estimated £500million and offer ‘poor value for money’.
Instead, it has launched an online consultation on two preferred options, both of which the council say will improve traffic flow to reduce journey times from the M5, tackle congestion at peak-times between Barnstaple and Bideford, and improve safety.
The first option is to upgrade junctions which are currently pinch points.
This is estimated at around £35million.
The second option, estimated at £150million, would improve junctions and also develop stretches of road with three lanes on the 20 mile section of the route between South Molton and Bideford to enable overtaking opportunities.
No improvements are planned to the section of the link road from the M5 to Tiverton, which is already a dual carriageway.
Following the consultation, the county council is planning submit a strategy for improvements to Government in the Autumn. Further evaluation of the preferred option will be carried out before another public consultation which will provide more detailed on phasing and impact of the improvements.
The consultation and other surveys will inform a business case and scheme bid for a share of the Government’s £475 million Local Majors Fund.
Devon County Councillor Frank Biederman urged people to get involved in the consultation before the deadline on July 29.
“In reality I don’t think anyone ever thought that it would become a dual carriage way but it would be good if we can get some overtaking lanes as well as the junction improvements,” he said.
“What’s important now is that we try to try to get as much as we can out of this pot of money.
“That’s why we need the support from the community and I would urge people to take part in the consultation.”
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for economy and growth, said: “This online consultation is an opportunity for everyone to find out more about what options have been considered and it’s also a chance for people to have their say on what option should be taken forward.
“We want to hear from people who live in the area and use the North Devon Link Road, and feedback from the questionnaire will inform how we make further progress on improvements.”
To take part in the consultation, visit new.devon.gov.uk/ndlr/consultation