Often what swings an investment decision that a business might take in considering establishing themselves in one region over another is the local infrastructure; how easy it is for staff to get to work, how easy it is to get to regional, national and international hubs and how easy it is to deliver goods and services within the region and further afield.
If we were to give an award within the United Kingdom for a really successful infrastructure project, it would be to those responsible for the South Devon Highway, a 5.5km dual carriageway that has taken the headache away from nearly 1 million journeys per month on a major route connecting the popular region of Torbay to other major road networks. This masterpiece of planning has re-routed the A380, providing a bypass to the village of Kingkerswell that for years had proven to be a massive daily bottle-neck for business users, tourists, commuters and local residents alike.
Amazingly it has taken over 60 years since the project was first proposed but at an estimated £110m this is money well spent and extremely good value. The improved access afforded by the project is expected to lead to the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs in South Devon, with around 3,500 of these in Torbay and a much better quality of life for local residents.
The South Devon Link Road Project team picked up the Community Engagement Award at the British Construction Industry awards on the 12th October 2016 in London. The team includes Devon County Council, Torbay Council, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Galliford Try and their designer Ramboll.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “Building the South Devon Link Highway was highly complex, involving many partners and engineering challenges. The proximity of the project to residents meant that engaging with the community was crucial to the success of the project. This award is therefore formal recognition of our thorough communication with residents and motorists throughout the project.”
This award follows two Institute of Civil Engineering regional awards, a gold Considerate Constructors award, an Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) award, a regional Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) South West award and a gold Green Apple award for its environmental activities.