Why is this work necessary now?

The North Devon Link Road experiences large variations in reliability and congestion at peak times. It is perceived by many as an underperforming vital link to northern Devon. Improving the road now will improve reliability by improving overtaking opportunities, improve safety, better resilience and future proof junctions against further congestion during peak hours.

How much is the project costing?

The total value of the project is in the range of £70 million, which covers scheme development including land purchase, construction of the mainline works (overseen by Alun Griffiths) and additional junction works to the west of the mainline section. A breakdown of costs can be seen in the Full Business Case on the Devon County Council Website

When will work begin?

Work has now started although as the project is being completed in phases some areas may not be affected until later in the scheme build timetable.

How long will the works take?

Works will continue until 2024, though it will be phased across the length of the route to minimise disruption.
Who will be carrying out the work?
Griffiths have been appointed to design and build the scheme (to Devon County Council’s outline requirements) following a competitive procurement process.

How can I find out more about the scheme?

All documents relating to the scheme’s development can be found on the Devon County Council Website, whilst construction guidance can be found on the Griffiths NDLR website. North Devon Link Road – Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd Community . There is an opportunity to subscribe to receive future Newsletters and Traffic Bulletins via Mail Chimp by registering via this link – North Devon Link Road – Project Bulletins (mailchi.mp). GDPR regulations prohibit DCC transferring the data of previous subscribers to their bulletins, so interested parties are asked to re-register with Griffiths.

How will business and residents be kept informed of progress and traffic management?

The best way to stay up to date with scheme progress and any traffic management restrictions is via the Scheme Newsletter which you can sign up to  Via this link – North Devon Link Road – Project Bulletins (mailchi.mp)
Note if you previously signed up to the Devon County Council newsletter during Scheme Development your contact details will not automatically be transferred to the construction newsletter due to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and you must sign up again using the link above.

How will lorries access the site?

All deliveries shall approach the site along existing public highways and enter the works area through designated access points located within the Traffic Management System. The main construction traffic and deliveries will be restricted to the main roads and will only be permitted to use a limited number of local minor roads.

Will there be any footpaths or cycle paths provided?

Pedestrian and cyclists will be able to cross the widened NDLR in 3 new locations: Between Landkey and Portmore Roundabout, at the new Landkey Roundabout and at the new West Buckland overbridge. The local road network with existing overbridges and underpasses will be maintained with some alterations to accommodate the widened A361.

How will access to existing properties and businesses be maintained?

As the works predominately comprise widening of the existing A361, there will be minimal effect on existing accesses. Initially, through communication and dialogue with affected parties and gaining an understanding of their requirements. Alternative temporary access and entry routes will then be created and maintained as needed for any property and business temporarily affected by the works.

Will there be much loss of vegetation as a consequence of the works?

To widen the A361 North Devon Link Road, existing vegetation will be removed where necessary to construct the road with extensive landscape planting upon completion of the construction works.   There is a mitigation strategy and plans which have been approved by the Local Planning Authority as part of the planning application. The mitigation strategy includes a 10% biodiversity net gain which means the scheme will plant extra vegetation including woodland, hedgerow, scrub and culm grassland. Most of the mitigation planting will be on site along the North Devon Link Road but to meet the 10 % biodiversity net gain commitment, some planting will also take place off site (outside of the scheme extent).

How will the environment be protected?

The scheme was subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment to demonstrate there will be no significant impact on the environment. One of the scheme objectives is to minimise adverse social and environmental impacts and, where possible, achieving net environmental benefits contributing towards those objectives. To minimise the impact on sensitive features and achieve high environmental design standards, both environmental and engineering constraints informed the design from the outset. This has included avoiding impacts as a first principle and where this is not possible, building mitigation into the proposals to reduce impacts. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been developed to manage environmental impacts and avoid nuisance and pollution incidents during construction.  

How will wildlife be protected?

An Environmental Clerk of Works and an Ecologist both employed by the scheme Contractor will oversee all environmental matters including the clearance of vegetation and wildlife protection as per wildlife legislation.   A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been developed to manage environmental impacts to wildlife and avoid nuisance and pollution incidents during construction.   To mitigate for the loss of vegetation and maintain existing wildlife corridors, vegetation will be planted along the scheme. Hedgerows and woodland strips were planted during the winter 2019-2020 prior to construction starting (known as advance planting) to provide habitat connectivity in the short to medium terms in particular for bats and dormice. During construction, cut vegetation will remain on site in the shape of hedgerows (dead hedging) to maintain essential habitat connectivity for dormice. Dormice, bird and bat boxes will be installed in areas of retained woodland to provide breeding opportunities. Bat tubes will be installed on the new bridge at West Buckland to increase bat roosting opportunities. The installation of otter and badger fencing at Duckslake Lane underbridge and badger fencing at May’s Leary underbridge will provide safe crossing points for these species.  
What are the normal working hours on site?

07:30 – 17:30 Monday to Friday & 07:30 – 14:00 Saturday

Will there be any night works?

During the construction period there will be a need to carry out some works at night or over the weekend. These periods will be kept to a minimum but are unavoidable.

Will there be much disruption to traffic on the A361?

Throughout the construction period there will be some disruption to the flow of traffic along the A361 and this is unavoidable. However, efforts will be made to minimise any disruption. Traffic Management will be implemented to ensure the safety of the workforce and the travelling public.   To minimise disruption, two traffic lanes of the A361 North Devon Link Road shall remain open to traffic throughout, one lane in both directions. However, there will be some periods when restrictions will need to be applied reducing the flow of traffic to one lane controlled by traffic signals and further full closures for short periods when traffic will be diverted away from the A361.   Most road closures will be carried out at night, when there is less traffic, again to minimise disruption.   In addition to closures on the main A361, there will be a number of short-term closures of sideroads including the C783 Blakes Hill Road at Landkey, sideroads at West Buckland and Borners Bridge. These closures will be facilitated by diversions.  

What will the diversion routes be during the road closures?

There are a number of diversion routes that may be implemented should lengths of the A361 or sideroads need to be closed for short periods. Advanced notice to the general public of closures necessitating diversions for traffic shall be provided at least two weeks prior to the implementation of any such closure. Such notice shall take the form of driver information signs, email alerts to website subscribers, social media posts, press releases and notices displayed in local communities.
  • When the A361 is closed between Portmore and Landkey, the diversion route will be via Eastern Avenue, Hollowtree Road, Landkey Road and Mount Sandford Road.
•  When the A361 is closed between Landkey and North Aller Roundabout, the diversion route will be via Blakes Hill Road past Swimbridge and Filliegh.
• When the A361 is closed between North Aller Roundabout and Borners Bridge, the diversion route will be via the B3226, past Pathfields Business Park and Station Road.

What are you doing to mitigate the impact of traffic diversions on local residents and businesses?

Every effort will be taken to minimise the number of road closures and maintain two-way flow on the A361 that will reduce any adverse impact on local residents and businesses.

How are you going to stop vehicles cutting through unsuitable roads?

We will not be able to stop individuals from using alternate routes as they remain public highways. However, by managing the traffic as efficiently as possible most users will realise that the best route will continue to be the A361.

Will there be any changes to speed limits during and after the works?

There will be no change to the speed limit on the A361 at the end of the improvement works. The speed limit will remain at the National Speed Limit: 60mph for cars and motorcycles. Upon completion of the works, average speed cameras will be installed to improve compliance with the speed limit and improve road safety. However, there will be some temporary speed limit reductions through the work areas to improve the safety of the workforce and allow the travelling public to move through the restrictions more efficiently and safely.

Why is there a 40mph speed limit along the whole of the works area?

The 40mph speed limit has been implemented to protect the workforce and the public travelling through the construction works area. The reduced speed limit will remain for the duration of the works to provide continuity and allow enforcement by the police.

As the scheme is in early stages of construction, activity on site may appear minimal. However, as the scheme develops activity will increase resulting in greater movements of construction traffic. In summary the speed limit improves safety for the travelling public and the workforce through a construction site where there may be associated hazards such as vehicles accessing and egressing the works. A reduced speed limit will help recovery of vehicle breakdowns through the narrow lanes and improve the flow of traffic in the area.

What will happen to any Public Rights of Way during construction?
Existing Public Rights of way will be maintained for the majority of the construction period with only short periods of closure to allow necessary construction work. Footpaths at Landkey, Swimbridge and South Molton will be temporarily closed during the works.

How is the contractor mitigating noise, dust and mud on the road?

The Contractor shall deploy new and well serviced plant equipped with noise suppression fittings to undertake the works. All effort shall be taken to programme work activities that may create a noise and vibration disturbance during daylight hours. Noise levels shall be monitored on site to ensure compliance with contract and local authority limits. Adjacent properties and businesses shall be notified in advance of any works that may create a noise and vibration disturbance. A water sprinkler system shall be utilised to suppress any dust. The works shall be planned so as to prevent debris and surface run-off from running onto the adjacent public highway. Mobile Wheel Washing Systems and mechanical road sweepers shall be utilised to minimise any mud on the road.