Five major projects identified
A new railway station, cycle trail and three long-awaited highways schemes are to be put forward in a bid to get nearly £100 million of government cash.
Next week Devon County Council’s cabinet is being recommended to give approval for the council to work with district councils to submit bids to the Levelling Up Fund the government established to regenerate town centres, enable investment in cultural facilities or upgrade local transport infrastructure.
Devon has identified a range of transport projects and will spread the bids over a wide geography, with each scheme demonstrating a gain in biodiversity, a reduction in carbon and air quality improvements. They are:
- Okehampton – new rail station and transport hub
- Cullompton – town centre relief road
- Exmouth – completion of Dinan Way and town centre improvements
- Teign Estuary Trail and associated cycle links
- Lee Mill – slip road and associated local improvements
The total cost of the programme is approximately £92 million, including £74.3 million from a government grant, £12 million from other sources and £5.7million from Devon County Council.
Working with West Devon Borough Council, a bid for a West Devon transport hub in Okehampton will include a new rail station – Okehampton Parkway – close to the emerging development and the junction off the A30 east of Okehampton.
Devon County Council currently owns the necessary land and the hub will include facilities for bus connections, cycle facilities and electric vehicle charging at the car park. The aim is to provide an interchange for Okehampton and the rural area stretching to Holsworthy, Hatherleigh and North Cornwall, which currently has poor connectivity to the national rail network.
Oke East will eventually become Okehampton Parkway station (courtesy: Daniel Clark) LDRS June 2021
Working with Mid Devon District Council, a bid for funding for the Cullompton town centre relief road will remove traffic from the High Street therefore improving air quality and enabling further regeneration of the historic core of Cullompton. It was granted planning permission in January this year.
Mid Devon District Council have secured £10 million in funding from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, but this is considered insufficient taking into account the high cost of land acquisition, mitigation work related to relocate sports facilities, pedestrian/cycle facilities and construction costs.
Working with East Devon District Council, a package bid which includes the Dinan Way extension will be submitted.
Dinan Way currently forms a partial ring road around Exmouth, but it lacks the final connection to the A376 Exmouth to Exeter road. Local people have been complaining about this for 40 years. Traffic from Dinan Way has to use unsuitable residential road, and goods vehicles accessing the Liverton Business Park, surrounding employment and retail area and the road to Budleigh Salterton use residential areas on the periphery of the town.
The extension has had planning permission since 2017, including an improved pedestrian/cycle connection to the Exe Estuary trail and has potential for better bus services to Exeter.
This will form part of a wider bid covering Exmouth, with other proposals focusing on the regeneration of the town centre, including interventions utilising district owned land to enhance the existing town centre assets which could include new mobility opportunities, better accessibility and wayfinding and leisure and cultural attractions.
TEIGN ESTUARY TRAIL
Working with Teignbridge District Council, a bid for the Teign Estuary Trail between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth would be submitted.
Development work on the trail is progressing well and a planning application is due to be submitted imminently, while Teignbridge is also looking at other schemes to link cycle and pedestrian facilities with the new multi-use trail.
It is proposed that the scheme won't be included in the first tranche of bids.
How the Teign Estuary Trail at Flow Lane could look (courtesy: Teignbridge District Council)
A new slip road eastbound on the A38 at Lee Mill would connect to the industrial estate and village, whilst avoiding unnecessary trips through Lee Mill Village.
The slip road would leave the elevated A38 and descend towards a new roundabout, providing a tie-in with the existing local road network, which the existing slip road would be stopped up, with access along Plymouth Road retained but returned to an appropriate function, and approval to proceed towards outline design and the planning permission stage was granted by cabinet in February.
The scheme may not be included in the first tranche of bids.