A £2.2 million road safety scheme on the A3123 that includes a roundabout at the notorious Lynton Cross has been approved by councillors.

Improvements to slow down traffic have already been installed at Berry Down Cross. Picture: DCCImprovements to slow down traffic have already been installed at Berry Down Cross. Picture: DCC

Devon County Council’s cabinet, at its first virtual on-line meeting, has given its support for improvements between Mullacott Cross roundabout and Easter Close Cross, as part of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) “Safer Roads Fund” project.

The approval paves the way for detailed designs to be completed and for any necessary land to be purchased for the scheme.

The package would include an unlit four-arm rural roundabout at Lynton Cross, currently a nerve-wracking busy crossroads, which minimises the ecological impact on the adjacent meadow, and ensures no light pollution in the rural area.

The alignment of the junction at Hore Down Gate would also be amended and a future consultation will be held on plans to close Oxenpark Lane, up to its connection with the B3230, to overcome safety concerns.

A series of safety measures have already been completed at Berry Down Cross in the last month. This includes the introduction of a 40mph speed limit and signs, solar-powered road studs, which illuminate constantly throughout the hours of darkness, and high friction surfacing.

There are also new signs, which are activated by vehicles approaching at excessive speed, to warn drivers of the upcoming bend and the advisable maximum speed of 20mph.

Councillor Andrea Davis, county councillor for Combe Martin Rural, said: “This is wonderful news. After years of campaigning for a roundabout at Lynton Cross, the approval for the scheme is making that a reality. To say I am delighted is an understatement, and patience and determination have now paid off.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “I’m sure this scheme will be warmly welcomed by everyone who uses this route and we all want to see the number of incidents reduced on this road.

“The safety measures that have already been introduced at Berry Down Cross have been well received by local residents, and hopefully the further upgrades that we’ve now also approved will provide further safety improvements along the A3123.”

Between 2012 and 2016, there were 27 collisions on the route (including Mullacott Cross roundabout), of which three were fatal or serious injuries. Devon County Council made a successful bid for Department for Transport funding in order to deliver safety improvements on the A3123 in North Devon and A3121 in South Devon.

It is hoped that work on the A3123 scheme can start later this year.