How one of Devon’s most dangerous roads is set to be made safer
Twelve improvements have been outlined to make one of the UK’s most dangerous roads safer.
The A3121 – the 9km stretch of road that connects the A379 west of Modbury to Ermington and the A38 east of Ivybridge – has been identified by the Government as one of the 50 most dangerous A roads in the country.
Between 2012 and 2016, which was the period used in preparing the funding application for Department for Transport, the A3121 had 31 collisions along the route, of which six were fatal or serious injuries (KSIs).
A “Safer Roads Fund” bid was submitted to DfT for both the A3121 and Devon County Council was subsequently awarded £1.9m for improvements designed to reduce the rates of the most serious injuries.
Devon County Council’s cabinet, when they meet next Wednesday, are recommended to implement up to twelve road safety improvement schemes along the 9km stretch of road in the South Hams and approve the Safer Road Scheme, at a cost of no more than £1.9m.
A report of Dave Black, Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment, says: “This project is in line with Devon’s Road Safety Vision that every route and every mode should be available to everyone, free from risk or fear of harm.
“The time limited funding will allow Devon to improve the A3121’s safety, particularly at Kitterford Cross where a number of people have been and continue to be injured. The improvements will also improve journey times and allow visitors better access into the South Hams.”
Subject to approval by the cabinet, the first phase of work is set to begin in Autumn 2019, and Mr Black’s report adds: “The scheme will reduce journey times as well as localised congestion on the A3121. This will reduce stop/start traffic, thereby reducing carbon emissions.”
The 12 schemes are:
- Wrangaton to Venn Cross – The problem is approximately 150 metres of carriageway which currently cannot support the passing of large vehicles. Proposed action is to Widen Carriageway to the same width as adjacent carriageway, mark centre line and install catseyes
- Wrangaton to Venn Cross – Sign of The Owl (west) is currently a side road junction with a wide central grassed island, entry and exits not square to the main road. Proposed action is to remove central grassed island, square up the junction creating kerbed verges, re-profile hedge banks and verges and provide new signage as necessary.
- Wrangaton to Venn Cross – Sign of The Owl (east) is currently a tight and narrow bend where large vehicles come to a near halt. Proposed action is to widen and re-profile the carriageway on the bend so that the crossfall aligns with the run-off from the adjacent fields and the super elevation is corrected
- Kitterford Cross – Currently a mis-aligned cross roads that makes vehicle manoeuvres difficult and hazards. Proposed action is to create a through route for the A3121 with two side road junctions to Loddiswell and Avonwick.
- Well Cross – Currently a side road junction with a central grassed island, entry and exits not square to the main road making entry and exit difficult. Proposed action is to remove central grassed island, square up the junction using kerbed edges, re-profile hedge banks and verges and provide new signage as necessary.
- Ware Cross – Currently a side road junction with a central grassed island, entry and exits not square to the main road making entry and exit difficult. Proposed action is to remove central grassed island, square up the junction using kerbed edges, re-profile hedge banks and verges and provide new signage as necessary.
- Whitmore Lane South – Visibility to the left compromised by hedge bank 27m, so proposed action is to take back hedge bank to the left and cut hedges tightly back.
- Erme Bridge – Pedestrians currently walk on the main road from Ermington Village recreation ground where they connect into the walking route on the lane to Penquit. Proposed action is to construct a footway on the north side of the River Erme bridge deck and in doing so bring the give way line across the adjacent junction forward to improve visibility.
- Ermington Village junction – Visibility form this junction is compromised to the right by residential hedging. Proposal is that with the co-operation of residents the hedging and wall could be set back.
- Town Hill Junction – Currently there is a raised Bitmac / Thermoplastic hump in the middle of this junction that forces right turning vehicles onto the wrong side of the road and into the path of oncoming traffic. Proposal is to remove the raised junction splitter hump and renew the road markings.
- Ermington 40mph speed limit – Currently some 40mph signing is obscured and some of the central (hazard) warning lines are of the incorrect length. Where possible, the council will re-position signs and correct the road markings
- Modbury Cross – The connection of the A3121 to the A379 is very poor. The Modbury Cross junction is very acute and affords little visibility onto the fast main road. Proposal is to build a roundabout at Hollowcombe Cross, widen the existing connection between the two main roads that provides road width and visibility to the latest standards and to close Modbury Cross access to A379 and divert through the new roundabout.