County council to examine junction upgrades and ‘improved overtaking options’ on A361 and A39.
DESIGN work is about to begin on major upgrades to the A39 and A361 North Devon Link Road – including junction improvements and the dualling of some sections of the carriageway.
Highway planners are to examine a number of options to improve journey times – work that could shape the development of the two roads for years to come.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for economy and growth, said work would focus on the busiest sections from Bideford to Barnstaple, and between Barnstaple and South Molton.
He told the Gazette: “In considering the impact of future traffic increases on the North Devon Link Road and A39, our priority over the next 15 years is to focus on junction improvements, which are most important in keeping traffic moving and enable economic growth including new developments.
“The current improvements to the Roundswell roundabout are the start of this process, but we will also look at improving other junctions including Heywood Road (in Bideford); Landkey, other junctions around the south of Barnstaple; west of Bideford; and Borners Bridge, South Molton.
“In the next financial year, we will commission design work to look at improving overtaking opportunities between Barnstaple and South Molton on the A361.”
The improvements are being explored as part of the county council’s Market and Coastal Towns and Rural Devon Targeted Capital Investment Programme.
Mr Leadbetter said the majority of improvements would require funding from developer contributions and bids for Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funding.
He added: “Because of that, the exact time of when any improvements will be delivered will depend on the settlement the LEP receives, and on funding being available as developments come forward.”
The county council will discuss a joint report of the head of planning, transportation and environment and of the head of highways, at a meeting in Bideford on Monday.