A30 improvements consultation deadline reminder

There is still time to have your say on Devon County Council’s proposals for improvements to the A30 between Honiton and Devonshire Inn.

People are being reminded that the deadline for responses to the consultation is Friday 30 September.

Devon County Council is promoting an improvement to A30/A303 Honiton to Ilminster section of the corridor to London. As a first phase of improvement, the Council is proposing to identify a Preferred Route for 8km (5 miles) between Honiton and Devonshire Inn.

The authority has put forward three potential route options to improve the section of the A30 between Honiton and Devonshire Inn. Each option is estimated at around £170 million, and all comprise of a 60mph high quality three lane carriageway which will provide sufficient long term capacity. It will be laid out with two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other to enable overtaking in one direction, alternating along the route.

A study compiled in 2013 by a partnership of South West authorities (Devon, Somerset, and Dorset County Councils, Wiltshire Council and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership) found that improving the whole A303/A30/A358 corridor would deliver a £41.6 Billion boost to the economy, creating 21,400 jobs. It will also generate £1.9 Billion in transport benefits from reduced journey times and greater resilience, saving more than 1,800 fatal or serious casualties and reducing carbon emissions by 9%.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “Because of the strategic importance of the A30/A303 for our region we’re keen for as many people as possible to give us their views during this consultation. Although the road passes through East Devon, it’s a critical link for the South West peninsula as a whole. Studies have shown the benefits that upgrading the whole A303/A30/A358 corridor can bring to the economy and I would encourage people and businesses across the region to take part in the consultation. The A30/A303 is currently viewed as unreliable and we need that to change. We deserve a better link to help the continued growth of our region’s economy.”

The majority of the A303 is proposed to be dual carriageway but recognising the lower traffic flows and environmental significance of the area the County Council developed a business case for smaller scale single carriageway schemes between Honiton and Ilminster. Following this in the 2014 Autumn Statement, the Government announced funding for “smaller-scale improvements” to the A30/A303 section between Ilminster and Honiton to improve safety and journey quality for road users. The aim is to identify a Preferred Route that would be considered by the Department for Transport as it gathers evidence to inform plans for investment in the Strategic Road Network beyond 2020.

Devon has adopted an environment-led approach in developing options for the improvements as the scheme lies within the nationally protected landscape of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). A dual carriageway has been ruled out because forecast traffic flows are too low to justify the high costs of construction and because it would result in additional adverse environmental impacts on the AONB.

Highways England is currently developing improvements to the A358 and the A303 east of Southfields and on two other sections of the A303.

The A303/A30/A358 corridor provides a main arterial link between the South East and the South West peninsula. The schemes, when constructed, will support growth and contribute to unlocking the economic potential of the region.

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson
Councillor Sara Randall Johnson

Councillor Sara Randall Johnson, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael’s, said: “The County Council will use the consultation responses to help identify a preferred route so it’s vital that people take part in this consultation. We’re keen for the Government to make good on its commitment to fund the improvements through the Government’s Road Investment Strategy.”

Councillor Paul Diviani
Councillor Paul Diviani

Councillor Paul Diviani, Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Paul’s, said: “The A30 is an important link to the region but it needs improvement to serve as a safe and reliable route in the long term for local people and visitors. A lot of work has gone into developing these options and we’re keen for people to have their say before the consultation closes.”

For more information go to https://www.devon.gov.uk/a30-blackdownhills/

Plans and the online questionnaire are available at https://www.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay Printed copies of the leaflet are also available at Libraries and Council Offices.