Devon approves £8.5 million road to tackle air quality

An £8.5 million link road designed to reduce congestion and improve air quality in Crediton has been given the green light by Devon county council this week.

Futhermore, the council announced today (May 31) that it had secured £2.96 million in funding towards the Crediton Link Road from the government, after council cabinet members unanimously voted in favour of the project on Wednesday (May 29).

Devon county council has secured government funding towards the proposed Crediton Link Road, which it says is designed to tackle air quality

Devon county council has secured government funding towards the proposed Crediton Link Road, which it says is designed to tackle air quality

Crediton is a designated Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and the Link Road forms a key part of Mid Devon district council’s Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP), but the council claims the road will improve air quality along Exeter Road as well as on Charlotte Street, East Street and Mill Street.

Devon county councillor Andrew Leadbetter described air quality and congestion in Crediton as “long running” issues for the area.

Plans for the Crediton road include a 760-metre single carriageway road from Wellpark roundabout on the A377 to the Lords Meadow Industrial Estate, which will have a wide, shared pedestrian cycleway and footway to provide an off-road facility for bicycles.

The county council said the road could potentially generate 800 jobs and would mean heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) can access the estate without having to use Old Exeter Road, which is narrow and suffers from road traffic emission pollution.

Tithebarn Link Road

A further £1.75 million in government funding, which is part of the Department for Transport (DfT)’s £165 million Local Pinch Point scheme, will also go towards the council’s planned Tithebarn Link Road. The council said the road would ease congestion and reduce the impact of traffic on Junction 29 of the M5 while potentially creating 3,000 jobs.

Devon county council's Crediton Link Road plans

Devon county council’s Crediton Link Road plans

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The options to improve the air quality and congestion problems in Crediton have been discussed and developed over many years, and I am confident that this scheme will improve the lives of residents in the town by significantly reducing traffic on Exeter Road, Charlotte Street, East Street and Mill Street, which will improve air quality.”

Construction of the Crediton Link Road is scheduled to start during the summer and is due to be open by the end of 2014, while work on the Tithebarn Link Road is expected to get underway in Summer 2014 , with completion due in Spring 2015.

Councillor Leabetter added: “Air quality and congestion have been long-running issues in Crediton and funding is welcome for this scheme which will get underway this summer, while the Tithebarn Link Road is a longer term project which will complement the recently improved infrastructure at Junction 29 of the M5 and Redhayes Bridge.”

Commenting on the cycleway plans for the Crediton Link Road, Devon county councillor Stuart Hughes – cabinet member for highways management and flood prevention – said: “I’m pleased to see this long awaited scheme is finally nearing fruition. The addition of a shared footway-cycleway to make off-road provision for cyclists is excellent news for residents. We have a commitment to make Devon a cycling county, and eventually I hope this route will link in with future cycle schemes as part of our impressive cycling network.”