Devon County Council has unveiled three potential route options to improve the first section of the A30/A303 between Honiton and Ilminster.
The local authority has launched a two-month public consultation as it aims to secure funding through the government’s Road Investment Strategy.
Highways England is currently developing improvements to the A358 and the A303 east of Southfields and on other sections of the A303/A30.
The A303/A30/A358 corridor provides a main arterial link between London and the South East with the South West peninsular. The schemes, when constructed, will support growth and contribute to unlocking the economic potential of the region.
The county council is proposing that 8km (five miles) of the existing single carriageway stretch between the Honiton Bypass and Devonshire Inn (the junction of the A30 with the A303) should be replaced.
Plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions over the coming weeks as part of the consultation, which runs until Friday 30 September.
The authority is seeking the views of the public on potential route alignments before it makes a decision on its ‘suggested route’ for the scheme which can be considered as part of the South West Peninsula route strategy.
All scheme options are estimated at around £170 million and will comprise a wide carriageway with three lanes, which provides sufficient long term capacity. It will be laid out with two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other to enable overtaking in one direction, alternating along the route.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council cabinet member for economy and growth, said: “The A30/A303 is a vital piece of strategic infrastructure, providing our most direct road link from the South West to London and the South East. However, the existing road doesn’t meet modern standards and presents a number of challenges. Businesses in the region view the route as unreliable and a constraint to the economy of the area. This public consultation is an opportunity for people to express their views on the first stage of the scheme proposals. Improvement of the A358 will deliver extra capacity but we also need improvements to this section of the A30/A303 in order for the Devon economy and that of the wider South West to start to realise its potential.”