A planning application for improvements to the North Devon Link Road has been submitted.
The application by Devon County Council is for upgrades to the A361 between Barnstaple’s Portmore Roundabout and Filleigh Cutting – with the development covering nearly seven miles.
The work proposed includes widening three portions of the road to accommodate three lanes of traffic, placing safe overtaking opportunities on 50 per cent of the route.
It also includes work to develop the Landkey junction into a roundabout, and build a new bridge over the West Buckland junction to stop traffic taking on dangerous right turns.
A new footbridge will also be built at Portmore to preserve a public footpath.
Work is expected to start in late 2019 with fencing and environmental work, with the road widening work to take place between 2021 and 2023.
The application comes six months after the Department for Transport approved an £83 million funding package for a wider scheme of upgrades.
Speaking at the time, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, development and waste, Councillor Andrea Davis, said: “The North Devon Link Road is a vital route for the region, and this announcement confirms that the government has recognised the issues of getting in and out of North Devon.
“The improvements to this main route will give a huge boost to our economy, the benefits will be felt by our local residents, businesses and visitors.”
The wider scheme includes removing uncontrolled right turns and junction improvements from Bideford to South Molton.
It aims to reduce journey times between Bideford, Barnstaple and the M5, particularly at peak times.
It also aims to improve highway safety and reduce the number of fatal and serious accidents.