Reduced Capacity on the A361 due to Roadworks

“The following questions are with reference to the A361, between the M5 junction and the roundabout on the A396 junction.

1. Over the last 5 years (01/01/14 – 31/12/18) how many days per year has this stretch of road operated at reduced capacity due to roadworks for both directions. (Reduced capacity, being defined as reducing lanes and/or speed limits). Split by years and directions if possible.

2.Over the last 5 years (01/01/14 – 31/12/18) how many days per year was this stretch of road planned to be operated at reduced capacity due to roadworks (Reduced capacity, being defined as reducing lanes and/or speed limits). Split by years and directions if possible.

Devon County Council is unable respond to questions 1 and 2 under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act – ‘Cost of Compliance’.  Under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 public authorities are not obliged to comply with requests which exceed the cost limit of £450 (equating to 18 hours of time).

Whilst the information you have requested does sit within our electronic and paper filing systems, these systems are not set up to easily provide us with the type of information you have requested.

The Unique Street Reference Number (USRN) relating to your request covers a very large area stretching from the M5 to Stoneland Cross.  There are 249 individual jobs which have taken place on this USRN between 1/1/18 and 31/12/18.  In order to locate, retrieve and extract the requested information, each individual job would need to be reviewed.  On the basis of 5 minutes per job, we estimate this would take in the region of 21 hours for one year.  To extract information for the 5 years stated, this would take around 100 hours, which is clearly well in excess of the 18 hours public authorities are required to spend responding to FOI requests.

However, if you are able to refine your request to fall within the time parameters as outlined above, we would be happy to review your request

3.Over the next 5 years (01/01/19 – 31/12/23) how many days per year is this stretch of road planned to be at reduced capacity due to roadworks (Reduced capacity, being defined as reducing lanes and/or speed limits). Split by years and directions if possible.

Potential Schemes which could impact on this stretch of road over the next 2 to 3 years are provided below.  No plan is in place beyond 3 years.

HSM potential major schemes to be delivered within the next 2 to 3 years.

Scheme NumberScheme NameScheme SetType of Scheme
2598643A361 Gornhay east bound dual section – TivertonPotential Principal Road Major SchemesResurfacing (proposed completion April 2019)
2445204A361 M5 junction 27 roundabout – Sampford PeverellPotential Principal Road Major SchemesResurfacing
2591791A361 Rifton Moor – LoxbearePotential Principal Road Major SchemesResurfacing
184227643A361 Sampford Peverell on-slip (junction 27 bound), Sampford Peverell CPMystreets Inbox – Potential SchemesRoad Restraint Systems -(RRS)

Bolham to the M5 Junction, the east and west bound sections from Bolham to the new Gornhay junction have been:

Phase 1New Gornhay junction to M5 Junction 27

New interchange and slip road.


Resurfacing mostly east bound completed, (west bound to be completed by April 2019)
Phase 1New Gornhay junction to M5 Junction 27Road Restraint Systems (RRS) upgradeTo be completed with the above scheme.
Phase 2

New Gornhay junction to M5 Junction 27

Delivery date will depend on funding

New interchange and slip road (east bound)Potentially a new overbridge and resurfacing.

Highway Planning and Development Works: Currently nothing known except Phase 2 New Gornhay junction which is subject to funding, no start date yet confirmed.

Routine and Reactive: The A361 is inspected monthly and any safety defect found during inspections will normally be dealt with within 24 hours in accordance with our safety defects inspection and repair policy. Other unforeseen emergencies are dealt with in accordance with our emergency plan with Traffic Management (TM) requirements depending upon the nature of the emergency.

Bridges and Structures: Structures will carry out annual inspections on the A361 however there are no known major schemes planned that will cause significant disruptions or delays. Please refer to comments below for more detail* however where TM is planned then advance notice of impending delays will be provided at each location and where major disruption is possible additional notification will be provided through the media.

*During the specified time period of up to 5 years a Post Tensioned Special Inspection will be due on 8 bridges, this operation will require TM on the A361 at various locations all of which should take place outside of peak traffic flows, probably in the evening. It is not possible to quantify the duration in advance of these works until a pre-risk assessment of each structure is completed which will then determine the magnitude of the testing required, this work is not yet complete. If full testing is required then it is estimated that this will entail up to 1 week of off-peak TM for each of the 7 overbridges that span the dual carriageway section, these inspections will involve simple lane closures at each location. This leaves the 250m long River Exe viaduct by the Bolham roundabout which is a much more complicated structure as it carries the A361at a point where it reduces to a single carriageway. If full testing is required on this structure this could involve 8 weeks of evening work using temporary traffic signals.

Principal Inspection (PI) on the 7 over bridges mentioned above will require TM (lane closures on the dual carriageway section) to protect an access platform used in undertaking the inspections. It is expected this will take a day each to do each PI most of which it is hoped will be undertaken outside of peak traffic flows. The TM will utilise temporary traffic signals for the River Exe viaduct’s Principal Inspection (PI) anticipated to begin shortly.

To give a definitive answer on the level of disruption at this early stage is difficult as this is dependent upon the outcomes from the respective PI’s. Excluding the imminent TM for the River Exe viaduct’s PI, there will be between 1 day and 15 weeks of off-peak TM on various sections of the A361, however it is also quite possible that the inspections and testing will reveal that some structures will require more extensive maintenance. This may then involve a longer term programme of work and the need to plan for available resources to deliver this, this could mean this work may be extended to be delivered beyond the next 5 years”.

Cyclical and Routine Works: Works such as grass cutting, ditching, gully emptying will be undertaken on a regular basis, however, most of these types of cyclical works are undertaken either outside of peak traffic flows such as in the evenings and largely involve mobile traffic management set-ups with the occasional short-term temporary traffic management where safety requires this.