It’s up to the public to decide how the first section of the East Devon A30 is improved.
Today three possible route options for the A30/A303 between Honiton and Ilminster have been revealed by Devon County Council, as a two month consultation with the public begins.
The county council is proposing that five miles of the current single carriageway stretch between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn should be replaced.
Return to home page or read next: Stagecoach Exeter blame long bus delays on ‘bad weather’ and ‘school holidays’
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.
The scheme lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a nationally protected landscape, so the county council are being careful to adopt an “environment-led approach” within their options.
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 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.
Plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions over the coming weeks as part of the consultation, which runs until Friday, September 30.
All scheme options are estimated to cost around £170 million and will comprise a wide carriageway with three lanes, which provides sufficient long term use.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The A30/A303 is a vital piece of strategic infrastructure, providing our most direct road link from the South West to London and the South East.
“However, the existing road doesn’t meet modern standards and presents a number of challenges. Businesses in the region view the route as unreliable and a constraint to the economy of the area.
“This public consultation is an opportunity for people to express their views on the first stage of the scheme proposals. Improvement of the A358 will deliver extra capacity but we also need improvements to this section of the A30/A303 in order for the Devon economy and that of the wider South West to start to realise its potential.”
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael’s, said: “This section of the A30/A303 is in need of an upgrade in order to support not just the local economy but also the economy of the wider south west region.
“An improved link will also ease access to Honiton, which is important for local businesses. Its vital that people take part in the consultation as their feedback will help inform how the scheme is progressed.”
Ecological, landscape, heritage, noise, geology, air and water quality issues have all been explored by the authority to come up with the three options, as well as consideration of materials and effect on people and communities.
The County Council has also ruled out a number of options including a bypass north of Monkton and the use of an existing road at Reddick’s Hill.
Consultation exhibitions will be held at:
Thursday 4 August, 8am – 6pm – Honiton Show
Friday 5 August, 2pm – 8pm – Upottery Village Hall
Saturday 6 August 10am – 6pm – Upottery Village Hall
Tuesday 16 August, 12pm – 8pm – Monkton Court Hotel
Saturday 20 August, 10am – 6pm – Mackarness Hall, Honiton
Saturday 10 September, 10am – 6pm – Upottery Village Hall