Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation & Environment (PTE/16/46) on the results of consultations on potential improvements for the A361/A39, North Devon Link Road corridor,attached.
(Councillors Colthorpe, Greenslade, Mathews and Westlake attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation & Environment (PTE/16/46) on the results of consultations on potential improvements for the A361/A39, North Devon Link Road corridor and proposals to take forward any approved developments between South Molton and Bideford, with the aim of construction commencing in 2020.
Taking account of comments received and in parallel with continuing design, environmental, traffic and economic work undertaken by Officers, the Cabinet was recommended to submit a Strategic Outline Business Case to the Department for Transport for scheme funding from the Local Majors Fund for, inter alia:
- improvements to seven junctions between Borners Bridge and Heywood Road roundabout (Borners Bridge, West Buckland, Landkey, Portmore, Rumsam, Westleigh, Heywood Road);
- a new junction at Brynsworthy to the west of the current A39 Roundswell roundabout;
- additional overtaking lanes from Filleigh Estate to Portmore Roundabout and from the new junction at Brynsworthy to Westleigh; and
- in light of traffic flows in the vicinity of Barnstaple, an urban four-lane road on the section between Landkey and Brynsworthy incorporating a central reservation and a maximum speed limit of 50mph.
The proposals, which were broadly welcomed by the local councillors and by the community at large, were set out in more detail in the Head of Service’s Report and at the schematic plan shown at Appendix 2 thereto.
The Head of Service also confirmed that the second stage of scheme assessment had commenced (on the presumption that the Strategic Outline Business Case would be accepted) to examine the individual elements of the overall scheme which would cover a length of approximately 30 kilometres.
The Head of Service’s Report summarised (at Appendix 3) responses received to the consultations on the strategy. Over 1,300 people had responded either by completing an online questionnaire or provided written responses direct. Members noted that 95% of respondents agreed that there was a need to improve the North Devon Link Road and there was strong support for improvements to sections between South Molton and Bideford with a stated preference for link and junction improvements option. Around 30% of respondents had also suggested further consideration be given to dualling more sections of the route.
Members noted that, in addition to the public consultation, a business survey had been conducted the outcome of which (set out at Appendix 4 of PTE/16/46) identified and confirmed that the main constraints to businesses in the northern Devon area were felt to be local transport links and road links to the rest of the country; 41% of businesses were of the view that making improvements to the North Devon Link Road would have a positive impact on their business and turnover in the future.
The need for a separate review of the section between South Molton and the M5 had also been identified and was acknowledged as set out in the Head of Service’s Report.