Extra cash will help fund new cycle trails and unlock highways schemes in Bideford, Barnstaple and Holsworthy

Devon County Council has added an additional £4.6million to its budget for transport improvements

The extra money approved today (Wednesday) will help pay for a raft of schemes across the county, including new urban cycle routes in Barnstaple.

It will also help accelerate design and land acquisition for highway schemes linked to major housing sites in Bideford, and to major employment sites in Barnstaple and Holsworthy.

The additional funding includes £4m from the National Productivity Fund grant and is part of a £24.5m package of schemes included in the county’s Transport Capital programme for 2017/18.

A number of on-going schemes are due to be completed in the forthcoming financial year, including the A361 Portmore roundabout and A39 hospital roundabout in Barnstaple.

Work also continues on the business case for A39/A361 North Devon Link Road improvements, which will be submitted to the Government in December.

There will also be traffic management, cycle facility and accessibility improvements in market and coastal towns, as well as continued work on the rural multi-use trails, including the Tarka Trail from Meeth to Hatherleigh and Braunton to Ilfracombe.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, the county’s member for economy and growth, said: “We have a good track record of getting schemes ‘shovel-ready’ to secure external funding.

“We are continuing to design and prepare schemes in order to bid for funding as the opportunities arise. The capital programme for transport makes the best use of available grants to deliver our aims of economic growth and improving people’s health.”

Cllr Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway management, said it was ‘good news for Devon’.

“Even in times of austerity we’re investing in projects right across the county,” he said.

“This includes further investment in walking and cycling as well as preparing the next group of schemes for future funding bids.

“In particular, £1 million of the National Productivity Investment fund is allocated to urban cycle routes that support growth including key routes in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple.”