Surveys will help form part of multi-million-pound bid for major improvements to A361 and A30 between Bideford and Tiverton.

Businesses are being asked to help develop major plans to improve the A361/A39 North Devon Link Road.

During the next couple of months, Devon County Council will be consulting with companies in North Devon and Torridge as it develops its business case for upgrading the road between Tiverton and Bideford.

The council has received £1.5 million from the Department for Transport to investigate the options.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, the county’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The future economic growth of North Devon will rely on an efficient link road that provides reliable journey times.

“A lot of work needs to be done, including in-depth surveys with the business community, so the support of companies in the area is critical to this project.

“I hope that all companies in North Devon work with us to help develop a preferred scheme and ensure our business case is as robust as it possibly can be.”

Last month, the Gazette launched its A Better Link for North Devon campaign to help speed up improvements to the road and highlight just how crucial it is to the region.

Currently, the average speed on the road is 47mph and only 15 per cent of the route has overtaking lanes.

As part of the survey, the council hopes to build up a detailed picture of travel patterns of businesses in the area.

Data from traffic surveys carried out last year is also being analysed to give highways planners a better understanding of the traffic using the link road.

The information will be shared at a public consultation later this year and feedback will eventually be used to form part of a bid for a share of the Government’s £475million Local Majors Fund.