A holidaymaker has branded resurfacing work on the A361 North Devon Link Road a dangerous “dust storm” with loose chippings “like machine gun bullets.”

Richard England and his wife were making one of their regular trips to the region from Kent on Thursday when they travelled through the stretch near Newtown Cross, undergoing overnight work by Devon County Council.

Mr England said traffic on the coned off single lane section was ignoring the posted 15 miles-per-hour speed limit with shrapnel like results.

"They probably didn't realise how bad it was until they entered the chippings but in 50 years of driving I have never seen anything like that on a major road," he said.

"As soon as you passed the traffic, especially the heavy lorries, it was like machine gun bullets hitting the car. We had a similar one in Kent once but the police soon closed it because of an accident.

"To leave a road with the chippings on like that is disgusting."

The council said surface dressing work was being carried out on the three lane section west of the River Exe viaduct to Stoodleigh Cross and other areas to protect repairs made after the severe winter.

A spokesperson said the timing had been planned to avoid the main holiday period but persistent rain and lower than average temperatures had caused delays.

Work would continue during the next window of suitable weather, with road closures in place from 7pm to 7am and diversions eastbound traffic will be diverted at Newtown via The Blackcat, Bampton, with westbound traffic leaving the A361 at Bolham Road, Tiverton, and following the diversion in the reverse direction.