A raft of transport related improvements for North Devon communities to the tune of £263,000 have been given the green light by Devon County Council.

They include in principle £40,000 pedestrian friendly enhancements to the junction of Fore Street and Broad Street in Ilfracombe, to help link the harbour and High Street, conducting more visitors to the shopping areas.

The first stage of the project, led by the Joint Delivery Team from North Devon Plus, saw the official opening on Thursday of a decorative 25 foot high iron archway at the top of Fore Street, intended to act as a gateway from High Street to harbour.

Councillor Geoff Fowler said the improvements at the foot of the hill would include enlarging the pavement and other enhancements to give the area a “café culture” feel.

The preferred layout for the area is still the subject of consultation with North Devon and Ilfracombe Town councils. At its recent meeting the North Devon Highways and Traffic orders Committee of Devon County Council delegated approval for the scheme to the committee chairman or vice chairman together with the area engineer and local county councillor.

The committee also approved £64,000 to enhance the street scene at the top end of Queen Street in Lynton, creating a shared pedestrian and vehicle surface for some 60 metres from the junction with Lee Road.

The aim is to make the area more attractive to visitors. It follows a study commissioned by the Lyn and Exmoor Vision parish partnership and has the support of Exmoor National Park, Lynton town Council and local businesses.

A £120,000 new cycle and footway has been approved for Cleave Point at Sticklepath in Barnstaple, providing a link to the Tarka Trail from Sticklepath Hill.

The segregated route also links to Petroc and provides a more direct access to the college from the trail.

The final recommendation approved by the committee will see a £39,000 zebra crossing created at Fair View in Barnstaple, an often busy road which sees a large number of vehicles and pedestrians making their way to the four schools of Pilton Bluecoats, Pilton Infant School, Pathfield School and Pilton Community College.