The public have had their say on what they think of proposals to improve the first section of the East Devon A30, and now it is up to Devon County Council to select a preferred route.
Last week marked the end of a two-months consultation over three possible route options for the A30/A303 between Honiton and Ilminster.
The county council is proposing five miles of the current single carriageway stretch between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn should be replaced.
A dual carriageway has been ruled out because the expected traffic is too low to justify the high costs of construction and because it would require much more land than a single carriageway.
The existing road has sharp bends, steep gradients, poor visibility and limited safe overtaking opportunities which results in congestion and higher than average risk of road traffic collisions for a modern trunk road.
The works are expected to reduce the number of accidents by one third.
However, the scheme lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a nationally protected landscape, and has attracted vast opposition.
It recently led to the formation of campaign group Blackdowns Road Action Group (BRAG).
A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to have their say in the consultation.
“We are now working through the results of the questionnaire as well as the feedback from the seven well-attended public exhibitions.
“This will inform the recommendation for a preferred route, which will be presented to Devon County Council’s cabinet later this year.”
The Blue North route would start at the junction of the A30 and the A35 and would make use of the existing road to Dean’s Cottage, with widening provided to the north side of the road so that property boundaries on the south side of the existing road would remain as at present.
Access to existing residential, farm and commercial properties between the A30/A35 junction and Dean’s Cottage would be provided from the widened road or local service road.
From Dean’s Cottage, and a local connection to Monkton, the route would curve east to bypass Monkton to the south and east. It would then pass to the west of Monkton Barton before continuing north to climb Reddick’s Hill, then crossing Viney Lane in the vicinity of Cotleigh Crossing.
From Cotleigh Crossing to Devonshire Inn the route would make use of the existing A30. A new simple T-junction layout would be provided where the A30 meets the A303.
The Blue South route would commence at the junction of the A30 and the A35 and would make use of the existing road to Dean’s Cottage, with widening provided to the south side of the road so that the existing road boundary hedge on the north side of the existing road would remain as at present.
There would be a need to acquire some property. The remaining properties would be accessed from the widened road or a local service road. From Dean’s Cottage the route would follow the same alignment as Blue North.
The Orange route would also start at the junction of the A30 and the A35.
Immediately to the east of Otter Valley Park, the route would proceed in an easterly direction to climb the south side of the River Otter Valley, passing to the south east of Holmsleigh Farm before turning north to run along the top of the ridge to the west of Viney Lane at Hedgend Road.
From Hedgend Road, the route would continue northward to the west of Viney Lane to Cotleigh Crossing where it would continue to follow the line of the Blue route.