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HONITON:Road network redesign
Tuesday, 08 July 2014
Plans for a major redesign of Honiton’s roads and junctions will be drawn up by councillors over the next few months, in a bid to improve traffic routes through the town. Councillors will be working closely with highways experts to conduct a thorough traffic management review, in order to address some of the fundamental problems in Honiton’s road network. Key locations for consideration already highlighted include the junctions at Ottery Moor Lane, New Street and the Turk’s Head Lodge – one of Honiton’s most prominent accident blackspots. Following the review, recommendations will be made to Devon County Council – the highways authority – with a view to initiating an overhaul of the town’s roads, which could include setting up a park-and-ride scheme based at the Heathpark Industrial Estate. Deputy Mayor John Zarczynski, who also chairs the council’s planning committee, told Pulman’s View that significant work would need to be carried out to enable the town’s infrastructure to match the pace of development. He said: “There are big plans for Honiton and it is not going to stay as it is. But there is no way those plans can be followed through without major infrastructure and traffic management improvements – otherwise, the whole town will come to a grinding halt.” The recent approval of a 300-home housing development on the outskirts of the town, combined with planning permission for a new 66-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, has generated concern that Honiton’s roads will not be able to cope with the extra traffic. And it is increasingly likely that a major supermarket chain – rumoured to be Morrisons – is set to build a new store at Heathpark, which could further complicate traffic management at the western end of the town. But work to improve the layout of the controversial Turk’s Head junction – where two road accidents occurred within the space of three days last week – is likely to be carried out later this year, in conjunction with building work on the new Premier Inn hotel. Councillor Zarczynski added: “The town council has been told that Turk’s Head has been made a priority for highways (the county council’s highways department) and that it is top of their list. “It is ridiculous what is there at the moment. I have always said that work should have been done there when they built Heathpark – they should never have designed it like that. “All the talk is that they are going to put in a roundabout there. It is just a question of when they will make a start on it. “With all the development going on around it, that junction has got to be done.”
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