Work is due to start on improvements to the A382 in Newton Abbot next week (Monday 10 February).
The first phase of the £13 million Devon County Council scheme will upgrade the link from Newton Abbot to the A38 at Drumbridges roundabout.
The route is being realigned and widened between Forches Cross and Whitehill Cross, and a new roundabout will be developed at Ringslade Road. Contractor Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd, will carry out the work on behalf of Devon County Council.
The upgraded road will improve safety and provide additional capacity to relieve pressure on existing roads, as well as unlocking economic growth with developments to the west of Newton Abbot by providing the main access to a proposed employment site and around 2,300 homes planned for the area. A new pedestrian and cycle path will also encourage sustainable travel to and from the town.
A lot of the construction work will be carried out away from the line of the existing road, and in order to minimise disruption from the scheme one lane in each direction will be kept open where possible.
However, there will be times when it will be necessary to reduce the traffic flow to a single lane using traffic lights, but this will be undertaken outside of peak hours and overnight. Advance notice of traffic control measures will be signposted on site.
Access to nearby homes and businesses will be maintained at all times, and construction traffic will not be allowed to use West Golds Way.
The improvements to the A382 will be carried out in three phases. This first phase of the scheme, which was approved by County Councillors in September, is being funded by Devon County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) and Teignbridge District Council.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Development, said: “Improvements to this route are vital to support further investment in Newton Abbot, enabling the development of homes and businesses. Some short-term travel disruption is unavoidable when building major schemes such as this, but every effort will be made to minimise this. In the longer term, I’m sure the benefits this road will bring will be welcomed as it will help to reduce traffic congestion and provide more reliable journey times. The inclusion of a shared walking and cycling route will also make it possible for more people to adopt sustainable travel.”
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “Widening the A382 will improve safety and journey times to Newton Abbot and enable people at the new housing development to cycle and walk the route as well as drive. We’ve invested £6.5m of our Growth Deal funding into the scheme, which is anticipated to generate 1000 jobs and 1200 new homes by 2021.”
Councillor Gordon Hook, Leader of Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Councillor for Newton Abbot South, said: “Obviously there will be a period of disruption for drivers to endure, but ultimately we have to believe that there will be significant gain for all the pain endured. I am particularly pleased to note the commitment to sustainable transport, with first class cycling provision in the proposals. In what must become a united fight against climate change, a fundamental change in attitude towards public transport must happen soon. Government needs to invest heavily in cheap or free public transport to save the planet, and we don’t have a moment to lose.”
The scheme is part of Teignbridge District Council’s adopted Local Plan between 2013 and 2033.