Extra £4.6m for transport improvements in Devon

An additional £4.6 million has been added to Devon County Council’s budget for transport improvements for the coming financial year.

This was approved by the County Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 8 March) to add to a £24.5 million package of schemes for its Transport Capital programme for 2017/18.

The additional funding includes £4 million from the National Productivity Fund grant. £2 million of these funds will be used to enable the first phase delivery of the Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension A361 junction, which will unlock over 1,000 dwellings. £1 million will also see work starting on new urban cycle routes in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple.

The remaining funds will help accelerate design and land acquisition to ensure there is a pipeline of transport schemes coming forward in future years. This will include highway schemes linked to major housing sites at South West Exeter, Newton Abbot and Bideford and improving access to major employment sites in Exeter, Barnstaple, Holsworthy and Cullompton.

A number of on-going schemes are due to be completed in the coming financial year including phase two of the Tithebarn Link Road, providing relief to M5 Junction 29, A361 Portmore roundabout and the A39 North Devon Hospital in Barnstaple, A379 Bridge Road in Exeter and the A38 Deep Lane junction in Sherford.

The Growth Deal funding announcement for the A382-A383 link road and cycle proposals (Houghton Barton package) in Newton Abbot will see progress towards a phased start. Funding decisions on other Government grant bids are due for announcement, including the Coastal Communities Fund for the Teign Estuary cycle route between Dawlish and Teignmouth as well as the New Stations Fund for Marsh Barton railway station.

Work continues on the large local major business case for A39/A361 North Devon Link improvements, which will be submitted to Government in December.

There will also be traffic management, cycle facility and accessibility improvements in market and coastal towns, as well as continued work on the rural multi-use trails – this includes the Drake’s Trail to Princetown, Sidford to Sidbury, Tarka Trail (Meeth to Hatherleigh and Braunton to Ilfracombe), Teign Estuary, and the Wray Valley Trail.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “We have a good track record of getting schemes “shovel-ready” to secure external funding. We are continuing to design and prepare schemes in order to bid for funding as the opportunities arise. The capital programme for transport makes the best use of available grants to deliver our aims of economic growth and improving people’s health.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This is good news for Devon. Even in times of austerity we’re investing in projects right across the county. This includes further investment in walking and cycling as well as preparing the next group of schemes for future funding bids. In particular, £1 million of the National Productivity Investment fund is allocated to urban cycle routes that support growth including key routes in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple.”

Image: Tithebarn Link Road courtesy of Devon County Council