The Full Business Case for the North Devon Link Road improvements will be submitted to the Department for Transport next month after gaining approval from Devon County Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 8 July.
Councillors backed the submission for the £93 million scheme, as well as approving the design of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge at Landkey and the start of site clearance on the scheme later this year.
The contract for all of the widening and junction improvements between South Molton and Portmore is expected to be awarded in the autumn. The contracts for the other junction improvements will be awarded separately.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “No doubt everyone will feel reassured that this important project has not been hindered or delayed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The County Council remains committed to meeting its deadlines on this project in order to submit the Full Business Case next month, and this approval from Cabinet clears the way for that. A number of surveys still need to be carried out prior to the start of work but we remain confident of getting this scheme underway as soon as we possibly can.”
Devon County Council has continued to progress the proposals, and over the last six months several key milestones have been achieved.
Advance planting along the 10km length of the scheme between Filleigh and Portmore has been completed. The scheme’s planting programme involves the planting of over 20,000 trees and bushes to establish ecological habitats before the start of construction work and further replacement of trees and bushes which will be removed.
Planning permission has been granted for new segregated pedestrian/cycle crossings of the road at Bishops Tawton and at Landkey Junction.
These additional facilities will enhance opportunities for walking and cycling in the area and tackle some of the historic severance caused by the road.
A Side Roads Variation Order and two Compulsory Purchase Orders have been submitted to the Department for Transport for confirmation in relation to these works at Landkey and Bishops Tawton. There are currently no known objections which have been raised for the Orders. These Orders, if confirmed, will allow the Council to acquire the land required to carry out the improvement works at Landkey and Bishops Tawton, including the construction of the segregated pedestrian/cycle crossings.
Devon County Council is working with the Department for Transport to finalise the Government’s approval process and, subject to funding, start to advance construction later this year. It’s anticipated that the main work will start by next Summer.