The South Devon Highway was officially opened by Roads Minister Andrew Jones on Monday 22nd February.
The new £110million bypass that is expected to carry over 35,000 vehicles a day has been officially opened, helping to deliver better journeys for road users in the south west.
The opening of the new 3.5 mile South Devon Highway is expected to create hundreds of jobs and benefit the tourism industry, in a major boost to the local economy.
The project was completed on time and on budget and is expected to deliver a near £1 billion return on the £110 million investment.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Better infrastructure is vital to improve people’s lives in the South West, and this new link road is doing exactly that by making local journeys quicker and easier.
“After a tireless local campaign we pledged new funding to make this important project a reality, and today’s announcement shows we have delivered on our promise.
“This government is determined to get Britain building again which is why in my Spending Review I set out how we will invest over £100 billion in the UK’s infrastructure.”
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:
“I am pleased our investment in the South Devon Highway is already delivering better journeys for thousands of hard-working people in Torbay and Newton Abbot.
“The road will help create new jobs and give a welcome economic boost to the region, but most importantly end the unpredictable travel times for drivers.”
A team of 2,600 workers – half of whom were thought to be from the local area – spent nearly 1.5 million hours working on the project over the 42 month building period that finished last December.
The road bypasses the village of Kingskerswell moving congestion away from the centre.
An estimated one million vehicles per month previously passed through the village, with the vast majority now using the new highway, the A380.
In total there are nine bridges along the route, with around 4,000 metres of retaining walls and nine major culverts. One 270 metre long railway tunnel was built as part of the project.
The new South Devon Highway is expected to save local residents and businesses up to 15 minutes each day – but more importantly removes the unpredictable nature of having to travel through congested local villages.
The Department for Transport paid around £76 million for the £110 million project, with the balance being shared equally between Torbay Council and Devon County Council, with Teignbridge District Council making a £500,000 contribution.
Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council said:
“This project has been much more than about building a road: it’s been about connecting communities, helping revitalise a community and improving the economic outlook for the whole of south Devon.
“The transformation that has taken place since is proof of a strong joint working partnership: it proves that local government can deliver and that councils create a climate for growth.”
Gordon Oliver, Elected Mayor of Torbay, said:
“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved and am looking forward to seeing the wealth of benefits the Highway will bring to this beautiful part of the UK.
“I hope that this is the catalyst for growth and expansion both in Torbay and throughout the whole area.”
Peter Truscott, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, the company that built the road said:
“Galliford Try is proud to have been a part of this prestigious project which will make such a difference to the people of South Devon.
“We thank all the stakeholders for their collaborative approach, without which it would not have been possible to deliver this challenging project successfully.”
The Minister, along with a group of invited guests, watched the ribbon cutting ceremony and then made their way to the Bickley Mill Inn for speeches.
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