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Traffic information

A381 Totnes Western Bypass

When the work is happening

  • Week 1: 19 to 24 October – CCTV and cleaning of the drainage system (7pm to 7am, Monday to Friday no work at weekends)
  • Week 2: 2 to 6 November – tree and vegetation maintenance (7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday no work at weekends)
  • Week 3: 6 to 13 November – tree and vegetation maintenance (7pm to 7am, Monday to Friday no work at weekends)

Traffic management

  • Week 1: traffic management using traffic lights at night to keep the highway open.
  • Week 2: traffic management using traffic lights and contraflow during the day to keep the highway open
  • Week 3: traffic management using night-time road closures (restricted hours from 7pm – quiet by 10:30pm and off by 11pm)

The traffic management plan for the road closures will be posted here two weeks prior to the closure.

Diversion route

We are obliged to sign diversions that use roads of the same classification to the road that is temporarily closed.

Drivers may choose to use local knowledge to identify alternative, and possibly shorter, routes.

Road diversion route directions

  • A381 from Totnes to Churchstow via Harbertonford and Halwell
  • A379 Churchstow to A3121 Sequer’s Bridge via Aveton Gifford and Modbury
  • A3121 Sequer’s Bridge to A38 Wrangton
  • A38 Marley head to A385 Dartington and A381Totnes and vice versa

Traffic management is needed due to the extent of the work being undertaken on the road and for the safety of the workforce. The majority of the work will be done under lane closures to keep the road open for as long as possible.

Access will always be maintained for emergency vehicles.

green is showing the area where the work will be carried out and this will be closed only during the full road closures.
Green is showing the area where the work will be carried out and this will be closed only during the full road closures.

What are we doing

The work to the A381 Totnes Western Bypass will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase consists mainly of investigative surveys, some carriageway repairs and vegetation management.

The second phase will involve carriageway resurfacing, road restraint system improvements and bridge deck waterproofing.

The following section provides more detail on the work being carried out in the first phase.

Phase 1

We are starting site investigation work and highway maintenance on the A381 Western Bypass Totnes on 19 October with drainage cleaning and CCTV work followed by essential tree felling due to ash dieback as shown on the plan below. Traffic management for the work will involve:

  • CCTV and drainage cleaning carried out in a series of night-time traffic management with the highway remaining open at all times
  • vegetation maintenance and essential tree felling due to ash dieback – carried out over a minimum of two weeks commencing on 2 November with a series of day-time traffic management, maintaining the highway open at all times, followed by a series of night closures where diversions will be in place

The need for the tree work was identified through professional tree inspections that were carried out earlier this year.

We are removing trees infected with ash dieback and other trees which are dead, diseased, damaged or insecurely rooted.

This is essential to maintain the safety of all highway users. Trees with ash dieback become unstable and will shed branches and can collapse as the level of infection spreads within the tree.


Hymenoscyphus fraxinea commonly known as ash dieback, is now rapidly spreading throughout the South Hams, as it is in most other parts of Devon and the remainder of the UK.

Devon County Council has committed to replacing the large number of trees that it will be forced to remove as a result of ash dieback. This is being done through a project called Saving Devon’s Treescapes, which is being led by the Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum.

This project benefits from lottery funding, plus contributions from other organisations, including the County Council, and is encouraging the participation of individuals, communities and landowners in the planting of replacement trees in suitable locations across Devon.

More information on ash dieback can be found on our dedicated website.

An ecologist will be supervising the work and is making sure all necessary precautions are taken regarding nesting birds, dormice and other wildlife habitats.

This work will be carried out in conjunction with other essential road safety and maintenance works, specifically on the road drainage system and on vegetation management.

We will be clearing vegetation from the footways and the adjacent verge in order to return the footways to full use for access by pedestrians.

We will also be removing vegetation which has blocked drainage ditches in the verges. This maintenance work is needed to ensure water is removed from the highway and can access the highway drainage system.

This work has been planned to minimise the disruption to the travelling public and local residents and aim to maximise the resources on site while still maintaining safety.