Barnstaple Town Council says more should be done and the entire road made a dual carriageway

North Devon Link Road proposals do not go far enough, says Barnstaple Town Council.

Devon County Council is looking at improving junctions at a cost of £35million or also adding three lane stretches between South Molton and Barnstaple, costing £150m.

A consultation runs out on July 29 and the preferred option will be put forward to bid for Government funding.

But the town council believes more money could be found to make the entire road a dual carriageway.

In its response to the consultation, the council said at the worst, any improvements should pave the way for future dualling.

Planning committee chairman Councillor Alan Rennles said they had to get across how important the road was to North Devon and how a dual carriageway would make it more ‘resilient’ and reduce congestion.

“The County says there’s only £500m to bid for from the Government, but we understand that other money could be made available from other Government ‘pots’ and I think we should all be pushing for that,” he said.

“North Devon is an expanding area and will see many thousands of new homes in the next 20 years. If we don’t match that expansion with road infrastructure now, we’ll be letting down future generations.”

The council’s response also calls for an imaginative approach to ensure improvements meet the local social and economic need, but are also sensitive to the environment.

Mr Rennles added: “I’m a little worried the options we’re seeing aren’t looking to the long term, the next 50 years. The way the road was originally built makes some improvements more difficult now, and we should learn from that.”

Town clerk Will Austin said as many people should respond to the consultation as possible, either online or by picking up paper forms from libraries or via the council offices at Barum House on the Square.

The online consultation is at https://surveys.devon.gov.uk/s/ndlropt/, whilst written submissions can be made to Room G59, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD.

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