Consultation launched on North Devon Link Road improvements

Potential improvements to the North Devon Link Road are the subject of further public consultation  by Devon County Council.

The County Council is putting forward a scheme option to upgrade the route between South Molton and Bideford, and is giving people the opportunity to comment on them before further developing the scheme.

The proposed upgrades would provide between 40% and 50% of the route (depending on the section) with alternating overtaking opportunities, compared to the current 10%. Safety would be improved with the removal of all right-turn movements across the link road, and access to development sites at South Molton, Barnstaple and Bideford would also be improved to support economic growth. The estimated cost of the full scheme is £250 million, although it could be built in phases.

As well as an online questionnaire at a number of exhibitions will also be held at:

Friday 16 June       Green Lanes, Barnstaple          9am – 5pm
Saturday 17 June  Green Lanes, Barnstaple          9am – 5pm
Tuesday 20 June   Town Hall, Bideford                 12pm – 8pm
Friday 23 June       Amory Centre, South Molton 12pm – 8pm

There will also be an unmanned exhibition at Taw View from Monday 24 July for one week.

Feedback from the consultation, which continues until Friday 28 July, will inform further refinement of the option so that an application can be made to the Department for Transport to fund the scheme.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste Management, said: “Previous consultation and our initial studies have enabled us to focus on specific areas of the route, and we now want to hear people’s views on the scheme option we’re proposing for the section between South Molton and Bideford. This is a vital scheme for the future growth of northern Devon’s economy and feedback will help us further develop a preferred option for the Outline Business Case.”

Proposals being consulted on include –

South Molton to Barnstaple
An option is being put forward to widen the road to provide more overtaking opportunities and to improve the junctions. This would consist of:

– The Borner’s Bridge Junction would be upgraded to a roundabout. With this new roundabout in place, right turns in and out of the Hacche Lane access would be banned to improve the safety of the junction.

– Between Filleigh Viaduct and Swimbridge Cutting, there are opportunities to widen 3 miles (5 km) of the road to provide overtaking opportunities.

– The current favoured option to improve West Buckland Junction is for an overbridge to enable the right turn and crossing movements to take place without conflicting with NDLR traffic.

– Between Swimbridge and Landkey, 1.2 miles (2 km) of road could be widened to provide overtaking opportunities.

– Between Landkey Junction and Portmore Roundabout, the road would be widened to provide 3 lanes with overtaking. In addition a roundabout would be provided at the Landkey Junction to improve the safety of the junction and be a catalyst to the development at Westacott.

Around Barnstaple
The section around Barnstaple has traffic flows of around 25,000 vehicles per day and a large amount of development is planned which will require additional road capacity. Junctions would be improved and the existing road would be widened to provide two lanes in each direction with a central double white line. This is a high capacity urban four lane road with a speed restriction.

– The road would be widened between Portmore Roundabout and a proposed new roundabout to the west of the existing junction with Brynsworthy Lane.

– Capacity would be increased at Bishop’s Tawton Roundabout.

Barnstaple to Bideford
The road would be widened to provide further overtaking opportunities and to improve the junctions.

– Between the new Brynsworthy Roundabout and Westleigh Junction, the road would be widened to accommodate the proposed two plus one carriageway.

– Westleigh Junction would be improved by widening the road to create an additional westbound lane through the junction. The existing Heywood Road Roundabout would be improved by widening the approaches to increase capacity.
No improvements are being considered between Tiverton and South Molton at this stage, as it carries the lowest volume of traffic with around 15,000 vehicles per day. This section also has a few overtaking places on the hills and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are located nearby.

A preferred route will be recommended to the County Council’s Cabinet later in the year for approval and inclusion in an Outline Business Case which will be submitted to the Department for Transport in December.

The Outline Business Case will prioritise sections of the preferred scheme. This is likely to result in three separate costed options being submitted with one being a preferred option. If the application is successful and government funding is available, the preferred option will be further developed and planning permission sought.

The results of previous consultation last year showed strong support for improvements, with 95% of respondents agreeing the need for a scheme, and businesses backing improvements.

Consultation questionnaires can be completed online at , returned at the exhibitions or sent to Transport Planning, County Hall, Exeter, EX2 4QD

More information on the scheme is available at: