Devon County Council announces cash injection to bring various improvement schemes to the starting line

A series of major upgrades for the North Devon Link Road could be ‘shovel ready’ in the next two years.

The A39/A361 will benefit from part of a £2.25million highways investment announced by Devon County Council to prepare design and technical studies ready for work to start.

This would include additional lanes and junction improvements between Tiverton and Barnstaple, as well as improvements to a number of key junctions.

The next step would be to bid for Government funding through the Growth Deal or other sources.

Plans for the A30/A303 schemes also form part of the DCC investment package.

Work has already begun on the A39/A361 North Devon Link Road with completion of the first phase of the Roundswell roundabout, part-funded with Department for Transport money.

Investments

Devon County Council is now investing part of £2.25m to prepare the ground for future projects to upgrade the road.

Government Growth Deal funding has also been awarded to invest £1m in the Heywood Road Junction on the A39 at Bideford in 2015/16, £2m for more improvements at the Roundswell access – which includes £700,000 in 2015/16 – and £1.5m for other A361 works, with £500,000 in 2015/16.

North Devon MP Nick Harvey welcomed the news and said having a scheme ready would make it far more appealing to government departments.

“I have lobbied treasury secretary Danny Alexander and transport minister Susan Kramer for progress on the A361 and both have agreed to see what can be done in Government,” he said.

“But getting funding for the project is a slow process and the idea some people have that we can see the whole thing dualled in the near future is simply unrealistic.”

North Devon Council leader Brian Greenslade said he was pleased DCC was investing in the first step: “It is a pity the Government and LEP had not shown more support. De-trunking the link road was, as I said then, a bad move by the then government. However, we are now driving in the right direction.”