£13.6m pledge for Devon and Somerset’s roads

Five new transport projects in Devon and Somerset have been approved today by the Government, following a bid for funding by the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The new road improvement projects, worth £13.6m, have been offered money under Pinch Point Funding – a nationwide fund of £217m designed to be used at key problem points on the Highways Agency network to boost the economy, reduce congestion and improve safety.

The agreed projects are:

  • A38 Drumbridges roundabout improvement, Newton Abbott – increasing capacity, installing traffic signals and constructing a pedestrian and cycle bridge. Cost £4.1m. Starts 2014, ends 2015.
  • A38/A380 Splatford Split improvement – reduce congestion by creating an additional lane for traffic merging with the A38 from the A380.  Cost £5.5m. Starts 2014, ends 2015.
  • M5 junction 30 slip road improvement, Exeter – reducing congestion by widening the southbound exit slip road and improving traffic signals. Cost £0.9m. Starts 2014, ends 2014.
  • A38 Manadon slip road improvement, Plymouth  – reducing congestion by widening and lengthening the entry slip roads onto the A38. Cost £1.8m. Starts 2014, ends 2014.
  • A303 Cartgate roundabout improvement, Yeovil – reduce congestion by providing two dedicated left-turn lanes form the A303 westbound to the A3088 towards Yeovil and the A3088 from Yeovil to the A303 westbound. Cost £1.3m. Starts 2014, ends 2014.

The investment is part of a programme to remove bottlenecks and keep traffic moving on England’s motorways and major A roads.  A total of 57 schemes have been announced across the country today – the economic benefit of these schemes is estimated at around £3 billion.

The announcement brings the total number of schemes to receive investment from the Government’s pinch point fund to 65. A third phase of projects will be announced next year.

Tim Jones, Chairman for Heart of the South West said: “We are really pleased that funding has been awarded to so many road improvement projects in this area – it will make a real difference to the economy of the Heart of the South West.

“Although some tough choices were necessary, full account of business needs were vital in our final selection.

“In addition we worked we worked closely with the Local Transport Authorities to prepare the bid and identified key routes that needed funding – we also took into account the views of public sector throughout the bidding process.”

Adam Chambers, Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Enterprise said: “This is fantastic news for the area and will help to grow the economy and reduce congestion.

“Providing this improvement to infrastructure is the type of support that is critical for business development.

“It’s crucial that we keep traffic moving – removing bottlenecks and keeping people moving is a key way of powering the economy.”

Pinch Point Programme

The pinch point programme, announced in the Chancellor’s 2011 autumn statement, is part of the UK Government’s growth initiative with funding of £217.5m to address specific pinch points on the strategic road network. The first tranche of eight schemes, worth £18.5 million was announced in July 2012. A third tranche will be announced next year.

Details of the schemes in the Heart of the South West area:

Devon

  • A38 Drumbridges roundabout improvement, Newton Abbott (map ref. 14) Reduce congestion by increasing capacity, installing traffic signals and constructing a pedestrian and cycle bridge. Identified as a major, high priority improvement in the Devon and Torbay Local Transport Plan, with the potential to support 1,760 new jobs and 1,200 new homes by 2020. Cost £4.1m. Starts 2014. Ends 2015.
  • A38/A380 Splatford Split improvement (map ref. 15) Reduce congestion by creating an additional lane for traffic merging with the A38 from the A380. Supports growth in the region by unlocking significant pieces of land and attracting new businesses to the area. Potential to support 10,000 new jobs and 1,900 new homes by 2020. Cost £5.5m. Starts 2014. Ends 2015.
  • M5 junction 30 slip road improvement, Exeter (map ref. 18) Reducing congestion by widening the southbound exit slip road and improving traffic signals. Supports planned developments such as Cranbrook, Newcourt and Sowton Industrial Estate. Supports development in the East of Exeter Enterprise Area. Potential to create 12,735 jobs and 5,480 homes by 2020. Cost £0.9m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.

Plymouth

  • A38 Manadon slip road improvement, Plymouth (map ref. 16) Reducing congestion by widening and lengthening the entry slip roads onto the A38. Supports major developments in the area that could create 2,350 jobs and 2,735 homes by 2020. Cost £1.8m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.

Somerset

  • A303 Cartgate roundabout improvement, Yeovil (map ref. 20) Reduce congestion by providing two dedicated left-turn lanes form the A303 westbound to the A3088 towards Yeovil and the A3088 from Yeovil to the A303 westbound. Supports developments that could create up to 21,235 jobs and 6,640 homes by 2020. Cost £1.3m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.