The Chair of Peninsula Transport, Geoff Brown, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hons Grant Shapps MP, to emphasise the importance of the strategic road corridors to provide consistent and reliable connections North/South via the M5 and A38 and East/West via the A303, A30 and A358.
Cllr Brown said: “The South West Peninsula economy is under-performing compared to the rest of the UK and maintaining a high standard of strategic road links will be important in ensuring the region is better connected, whilst unlocking its potential for growth and supporting plans for more homes and jobs, in the future. Investments in the South West Peninsula will have wider implications for the rebalancing of the UK economy and harnessing the productivity potential of the Peninsula region. Without improvement, the lack of connectivity within the region will present a barrier to growth and prosperity.”

He also reiterated the unanimous support fo the Board for much needed improvements to the A303/A358/A30 corridor.

Cllr Brown continued: “We have welcomed the schemes currently included within the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) that is A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down, A303 Sparkford to Ilchester and A358 Taunton to Southfields and continue to support their progression through the DCO process. Delivering the commitment to improving the A303/A358/A30 corridor to create a safe, efficient and resilient second strategic route is vital to our region’s economic growth and resilience of our transport connectivity with the rest of the UK.

“However, the full economic benefit for the UK will only be achieved with an end-to-end improvement along the A303/A358/A30 corridor. The remaining unimproved sections, including the A30 between Honiton and Southfields, will need to receive funding allocations in future RIS periods in order to ensure the proven need for a second strategic link to the economic growth areas in the South West Peninsula are met. 

“The North/South strategic route for the South West Peninsula is the M5/A38 corridor. This has suffered from decades of underinvestment, particularly on the A38, despite being a crucial link between south-east Cornwall, the cities of Plymouth and Exeter and the rest of the country. Significant growth is proposed along the M5/A38 corridor in the current local plans, including 26,700 new homes in Plymouth and South West Devon, 6,000 in Newton Abbot, at least 20,000 in Exeter and East Devon, 13,000 in Taunton and 7,500 in Bridgwater.

“The Strategic Road Network must be future-proofed to ensure it is able to support this level of development.”