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How to have your say on improving the A30 bottleneck

Devon County Council believes improvements to the A30 will help the South West's economy Credit: ITV News

People living on the Blackdown Hills will get a chance to have their say on three options for improving the A30 through the area.

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 proposed scheme is expected to:

  • reduce the number of accidents by one third
  • improve journey reliability
  • improve resilience of the strategic road network
  • supporting economic growth in the South West.
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Fewer accidents expected with proposed A30 road scheme

The County Council is proposing that 8km (5 miles) of the existing single carriageway stretch between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn (the junction of the A30 with the A303) should be replaced.

The scheme lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), so all the options are designed to consider the environment.

A dual carriageway has been ruled out because there is not likely to be enough traffic to justify the high costs of construction and because it would require much more land than a single carriageway, which would adversely affect the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But environmental campaigners are concerned:

You cannot protect and enhance an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by building a road through it. Just such a scheme was already dropped in 2004 for environmental reasons and alternative routes are already being developed.

New roads create new traffic, which the Blackdown Hills and nearby towns need like a hole in the head.

What Devon County Council should be considering is how to get unnecessary trips off the road including through long term investment in local public transport.

– James MacColl, Campaign for Better Transport

Devon County Council wants to know what people think of the options before it decides on its ‘suggested route’ and is holding exhibitions over the coming weeks.

There are three options, which will all be made up of a three-lane carriageway. This would be two lanes one way and one the other to allow overtaking in one direction (alternating along the route).

  • 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.

You can find out more and access the questionnaire at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay

The consultation runs until Friday 30 September