Motorists in Devon are set to benefit from better journeys after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling approved a series of improvements to the North Devon Link Road to better connect the area to the rest of the country.
Today (May 17 2018) more than £83 million of government funding was confirmed to pay for upgrades on the A361 between South Molton and Bideford.
The £93.1 million plans include widening 3 sections of the A361 between Barnstaple and South Molton, with 2 lanes of travel in one direction and a single lane in the opposite direction. The extra lane will help provide safer overtaking opportunities and make average journeys on the route more reliable.
Upgrades to a number of junctions and improved connections will also provide a much needed boost to North Devon as a place to do business.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“This government is investing record amounts in our roads, spending £6 billion to improve journeys in our towns and cities and boost their economies.
“Devon County Council’s plans to widen the A361 will ease traffic on the road and improve every day journeys for residents and businesses in North Devon.
“Our commitment of £83.1 million to the scheme will help improve access to towns in the region.”
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said:
“The North Devon Link Road is a vital route for the region, and this announcement confirms that the government has recognised the issues of getting in and out of North Devon. The improvements to this main route will give a huge boost to our economy, the benefits will be felt by our local residents, businesses and visitors.
“We’ve worked closely with the local MP Peter Heaton-Jones and DfT officials. Devon County Council officers have been tireless in their support for this important route, and today the result of all this activity has paid off for our beautiful area of Devon.”
Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Steve Hindley, CBE DL, said: “We are delighted to have supported this bid with our partners at Devon County Council; it’s a resounding success and testament to the quality of our bid that we secured the investment needed. Connectivity to North Devon has long been a barrier to economic growth in this area, and this new injection of investment in the North Devon Link Road will be help the area to reap the benefits of our recently published Productivity Strategy by improving prosperity for all.”
The funding comes from the government’s Large Local Majors Fund, providing the infrastructure that is vital for economic growth.