An economic boost is anticipated for the South Devon area of the UK with the opening of a GBP110m bypass, the government’s Department for Transport announced on Monday.
UK Roads Minister Andrew Jones has officially opened the 3.5 mile South Devon Highway, which is expected to carry 35,000 vehicles a day and improve journeys in the south west.
The new 3.5 mile highway between Torbay and Newton Abbot is also expected to create hundreds of new jobs in south Devon, as well as provide a boost to the tourism industry in the area.
Completed on time and on budget by Galliford Try, the highway project is expected to deliver an approximate GBP1bn return on the investment of GBP110m. Over a building period of 42 months, a team of 2,600 workers, half of whom were thought to be from South Devon, were employed for 1.5 million hours working on the project, which ended last December. The project included the construction of a total of 9 bridges, along with approximately 4,000 metres of retaining walls and 9 major culverts. In addition, a 270 metre long railway tunnel was built as part of the project.
With the opening of the new bypass, congestion will be moved away from the centre of the village of Kingskerswell, where previously an estimated 1 million vehicles passed through each month. The vast majority are now using the new highway, the A380.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne commented:
“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 GBP100bn in the UK’s infrastructure.”
The Department for Transport contributed around GBP76m towards the project, with the balance being shared equally between Torbay Council and Devon County Council. A contribution of GBP500,000 was made by Teignbridge District Council.