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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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HONITON: Transport links will be improved, says MP
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Honiton MP Neil Parish has reassured local traders and commuters that money will be made available to fund improvements to the A303/A30 – and there are further plans in the pipeline to improve transport links between Honiton and the rest of the country. Speaking at a meeting of Honiton Chamber of Commerce recently, Mr Parish said he was expecting Government cash to be set aside for the project in the autumn of this year with proposals made for the work to start. Calls for the frequently congested road to be upgraded go back more than 20 years – and campaigners hope to see sections of the road converted from single to dual carriageways as part of the work. Environmental groups have protested that the dualling of the road will spoil the natural beauty of the area, and funding constraints have contributed to progress stalling. But Mr Parish, who recently travelled the length of the road with Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP to point out the problems, said he was “very keen” to start the work. He said: “There are five stretches of the road through to Honiton where there is currently a single carriageway rather than a dual – dualling those stretches will bring a lot of improvements for the road. “The money is there and we are expecting a statement in the autumn with some actual cash and proposals for work to start. The road provides an important link for Honiton and it also feeds the south of Devon. “There may have to be compromises and we have to be sure the road will be dualled over the Blackdown Hills. But I know people are very supportive of this work and I am very keen to get this finished as quickly as possible.” Mr Parish also said he would be pushing for developments to other transport networks linking Honiton to the capital. And in light of plans to provide the new high-speed rail link (HS2) between London and the North, the MP said it was important the South West was not overlooked. He added: “We are looking at the possibility of running more commuter trains from Exeter to London Waterloo and I am hoping in the next couple of years we will see that done. “There is no point spending all this money in linking the North if we in the West find ourselves with the same problem. We must have the proper infrastructure in place – it has a big effect on business and tourism in Honiton.”
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