Grayling makes Slapton repair a special case with £2.5m pledge


Chris Grayling has pledged £2.5m to help Devon County Council repair the storm-damaged A379 at Slapton.

The transport secretary announced the cash to repair the vital road link between Slapton and Strete Gate, which was partially destroyed by Storm Emma and has been closed since last week.

The issue was raised at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday by local Conservative MP Sarah Woolaston.

Mr Grayling said: ‘The recent severe storms caused significant disruption right across the nation, but now we need to ensure this road is repaired as quickly as possible.

‘We are giving Devon County Council funds to repair the A379 so there is no long-lasting impact from Storm Emma on the vitality and prosperity of this area.’

Council leader John Hart said: ‘I am delighted the Government has moved so swiftly to reassure us about the funding for these vital repairs.

‘I want to pay particular tribute to Sarah Woolaston for taking this issue to the heart of Government so promptly and raising it with Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions today.’

Mr Hart visited Slapton on Tuesday with Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highway management, and council engineers. Afterwards both men pledged that the road would be re-instated as soon as possible.

Mr Hughes said: ‘Slapton really bore the brunt of Storm Emma and it was devastating to see what happened here as we looked at the site with engineers. We know how important this route is for local people and also for the local economy with the amount of visitors who come here.

‘Our teams are doing their best to clear the shingle as quickly as possible and then we can start looking at options for the road.’

The council said it is already working up designs and costs to reconnect the route while recognising the environmental sensitivity and designation of the area.

Council diggers are continuing to clear shingle from the stretch from Slapton junction to Torcross and to remove overhanging sections of the road between Sands Road and Strete Gate.

The council said the co-operation and agreement of affected landowners will be vital to the delivery of any scheme. It is working alongside its partners from the Slapton Line Partnership, which includes South Hams District Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, South Devon AONB, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, and the Field Studies Council at Slapton Ley.







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