THE North Devon Link Road will be partially closed for a month from Wednesday, October 11 to allow essential maintenance work to go ahead, Devon County Council has announced.

As part of DCC’s ongoing scheme to upgrade the A361, contractor Griffiths needs to excavate the road in a number of areas to waterproof five major structures beneath the highway. Drainage improvements, safety barrier replacement and resurfacing will also be undertaken at the same time.

The work will require the closure of the westbound carriageway (Tiverton to Barnstaple) of the A361 between North Aller roundabout and Landkey roundabout, for a month.

Traffic heading to Barnstaple will be diverted onto the C783 to travel through Filleigh, Swimbridge and Landkey.

On-street parking in these communities on the diversion route will have to be restricted during this period to help maintain traffic flow. The diversion route will be regularly monitored.

There will be a separate advisory diversion route available for HGVs and abnormal loads heading westbound (Tiverton to Barnstaple) to reduce the number of large vehicles travelling through the villages. This will be signed via the B3226, B3227 and A377.

The eastbound carriageway (Barnstaple to Tiverton) will remain fully open to traffic throughout this phase of work.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “This is a vital element of the link road improvement scheme and the westbound carriageway has to be closed to enable the work to be carried out and to keep site staff and the public safe in doing so.

"Some delays will be unavoidable so I would urge people travelling in the area to plan ahead and please allow extra time for your journey.

"Every effort will be made to minimise disruption and to complete the work as quickly as possible.”

Councillor Paul Henderson, County Councillor for Chulmleigh and Landkey, said: “The residents of both Landkey and Swimbridge have been extremely co-operative to date when diversions are in place to accommodate the link road upgrade.

"I fully appreciate the issues that do arise with the increase in flow of traffic through the villages at times such as these.

"However, with the finishing line clearly in sight now for the completion of the works, I’m hoping that they’ll once again be understanding as to the reasons why this extended diversion period is taking place and thank the residents for their patience. It is appreciated.”

Councillor Jeremy Yabsley, County Councillor for South Molton, said: “It’s really good to see work on the A361 driving towards completion.

"This is essential work and while some inconvenience may be unavoidable it will help the scheme progress and provide us all with a much improved road once the job is done.”

Work is specialised and intricate and all efforts will be made to complete it and fully open the road as quickly as possible.