Funding confirmed for work on 'dangerous' North Devon road

Councillor Andrea Davis at the site of a A3123 improvement in North Devon

Councillor Andrea Davis at the site of a A3123 improvement in North Devon - Credit: LDRS

Government funding has been confirmed for a £2.2 million road safety scheme on one of Devon’s most dangerous roads. 

The A3123, which connects the North Devon Link Road to Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, was identified back in 2016 as one of the 50 most dangerous A roads in the country. 

Devon County Council introduced a series of safety measures at Berry Down Cross and Hore Down Gate on the A3123 in North Devon last year – including a 40mph speed limit, new advance warning signs, solar-powered road studs, and high friction surfacing. 

But it has now been confirmed that Safer Roads Funding has been received from the Department for Transport, and so the design can be finalised on the remaining elements of the improvements earmarked for the road at the other known collision cluster site on the route – Lynton Cross. 

As part of the improvement scheme, a four-arm rural roundabout will be constructed at Lynton Cross, and works will also be carried out to the centre white lines along the entire A3123 to bring them in line with current standards. 

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Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council cabinet member for infrastructure and development and county councillor for Combe Martin Rural, who had been campaigning for the improvements for 16 years, said: “Proposals to improve the Lynton Cross junction have been an aspiration of Devon County Council for some time, so I welcome the approval of funding from the Department for Transport. The development of the roundabout and the other upgrades on the A3123 will make the road much safer for everyone.” 

She added: “This will improve safety at the junction, something we have all been very concerned about for decades. Not only will the improvements be beneficial to us as residents but it will improve the road for our visitors and businesses.” 

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Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “We’re delighted that the Department for Transport has now approved the funding for the roundabout element of the scheme which provides the last piece in the jigsaw for the delivery of these improvements. 

“This initiative will help reduce serious injury collisions, supporting the ‘Vision Zero’ ambition of The South West Peninsula Road Safety Partnership (SWPRSP), of which the county council is a member, as we aim for our roads to be free of fatalities and serious injuries by 2040.” 

There were four collisions at each of the sites (Hore Down Gate, Lynton Cross and Berry Down Cross) between 2012-2016. In that same period there were 27 collisions along the A3123, three of which were fatal or serious injuries (KSIs). 

It is hoped that advance work of the A3123 scheme in North Devon can start in the autumn.

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