Revealed: the places to avoid on Devon’s major roads

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 20 March 2019

Devon's slowest and fastest roads. Picture: Google Maps.

Devon's slowest and fastest roads. Picture: Google Maps.


For drivers, the worst part of the commute is when you get stuck in traffic.

New government data has revealed the major roads to avoid in Devon to get to work on time, and whether delays are getting worse.

The Department for Transport figures show that the A35, between A30 Honiton and B3165 Raymond’s Hill, had the slowest moving traffic among the major roads in Devon in 2018. Parts of the road had an average speed as low as 40mph.

At the other end of the scale, vehicles sped along the M5 southbound between J26 Wellington/Taunton and J27 Tiverton at an average of 75mph – making it the fastest section of road in the area.

The figures include measurements taken at 184 places on the strategic road network – major routes managed by Government-owned company Highways England – in Devon.

They show that the longest delays in the area were on the A30 westbound between A303 Exeter and A35 Honiton, with drivers losing 26.1 seconds every mile when compared with the pace they would have made at the speed limit.

Across England, motorists suffered a 3.9 per cent increase in delays on motorways and major A roads last year.

Journeys took an average of 9.4 seconds per mile longer than if vehicles were able to drive at the speed limit, according to the DfT, up from 9.0 seconds during the previous year.

It suggests that driving along a 10-mile section of road with a 60mph limit typically took 11 minutes and 34 seconds last year, compared with 10 minutes in free flow conditions.

Devon County Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is responsible for Highways, said: “I’m not surprised to see the A35 on the list of roads to avoid getting to work on time. This being a major trunk road along with the A30 and A303 is the responsibility of Highways England and over the years there have been many calls to dual and by pass settlements along this stretch of road but to no avail.

“What I wouldn’t wish to see is any of this traffic that currently uses the A35 using the A3052 through Newton Poppleford, Sidford and Colyford as an alternative route and I would now hope that the Government would invest some of the £29billion into the schemes that will improve the quality of life for the residents who live in those settlements along the A35 including Kilmington.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Extra capacity is badly needed as Britain now has around 38 million vehicles registered for use, and in the 10 years from 2007 more than four million extra vehicles came on to the road.”

A DfT spokeswoman said: “This government is determined to improve journeys for all motorists, which is why we’re investing nearly £29 billion to reduce congestion on our roads up to 2025.

“We are also investing £3.1billion in local projects to make road travel smoother, while our £2.5billion Transforming Cities Fund will develop innovative public transport schemes to further tackle congestion in some of England’s biggest cities.”

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