By-pass plan is 'dead in the water'

PUBLISHED: 08:03 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 22:04 15 June 2010

A PROPOSAL for an eastern by-pass for Honiton will be put to East Devon District Council today (Wednesday).

A PROPOSAL for an eastern by-pass for Honiton will be put to East Devon District Council today (Wednesday).The plan, being mooted by Honiton Town Council in a bid to divert the A35 away from the edge of the town centre, is already gaining support at County Hall - even though it does not appear on a multi-million pound highways shopping list stretching to 2018.According to town and district councillor Peter Halse, the "whole project is on shutdown".After spending what, he describes, as "quite an uncomfortable hour" at County Hall, Councillor Halse believes the new road could cost at least £50 million and is "a very low priority"."We do not feature," he warned. "It was a very disappointing meeting. It is by no means a dead thing, as far as I'm concerned, but as far as the government is concerned it's dead in the water. We mustn't take this lying down."Councillor Halse is in full support of efforts being undertaken by Councillor Roger Boote on Honiton's behalf.Apart from one dissenting voice at a county council meeting, he won support for the proposal recently.But he acknowledges: "If the by-pass goes ahead before 2018, money will come out of the pot from somewhere else."The dissenting voice, he revealed, was from a North Devon councillor who is concerned about traffic management problems there.Although Cranbrook is said to have been put on hold until the credit crunch has passed, Councillor Boote is adamant that truck loads of building materials will be transported by road to the development site from Southampton and Purbeck - all clipping Honiton on the A35 in Kings Road and Monkton Road.He said he was trying to change attitudes. "Let's be flexible about this," he said. "Things happen, things change. Either they stop Cranbrook or make the road suitable to get materials down there.

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