COUNCILLORS have approved the submission of the Full Business Case for improvements to the A382 near Newton Abbot.

Devon County Council's (DCC) Cabinet endorsed moving ahead with the next stage of the £56 million scheme on Wednesday, November 8, and the Full Business Case is now expected to be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) by the end of the year.

The upgrade of the A382 between Drumbridges and Newton Abbot is needed to support the development of housing and employment land allocated and proposed in Teignbridge District Council’s adopted Local Plan.

It is also one of seven pioneering projects across the country which are part of the Live Labs 2 programme, funded by the DfT and organised by ADEPT (Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport).

DCC were successful in its £3.7 million bid for the project which is aiming to become the UK’s first 'carbon negative' highway by driving down carbon emissions in the construction and maintenance of the road.

This latest phase of the scheme includes a combination of road widening, realignment, junction improvements and the introduction of shared pedestrian and cycle paths.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: 'The A382 is a key route but the existing road between Drumbridges Roundabout and Forches Cross is of a low standard which has to carry a lot of traffic and has no pedestrian or cycling facilities.

'This scheme will improve safety, improve journey times and support active travel.'

Last month’s decision by the Government to scrap the extension of HS2 has meant that additional funding from the DfT can be diverted into the scheme through the Major Road Network investment programme.

Subject to the Full Business Case successfully gaining funding, and an independent commercial review, DCC intend to award the contract to Milestone Infrastructure in early 2024.