Proposals to widen a road near Exeter Airport have been approved by Devon County Council in order to unlock new employment land.
The Council’s Cabinet supported the scheme to improve 1.25km of Long Lane to enable the development of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone employment area known as “AirPark”.
The road will be widened to 6.5 metres to improve access on the section running from the Airport Terminal entrance, past Flybe’s New Walker Hangar HQ, the Flybe Training Academy, and Hampton by Hilton Hotel, and through to Harrier Court.
To maintain access to the Hotel and Flybe’s Hangar HQ and Academy during construction, a new diversionary route access road will be developed from the Silverdown Office Park. Once the widening of Long Lane has been completed this “Silverdown Lane Link” will become a bus and cycle link, boosting alternative travel choices for Fair Oak Business Park, hotel and wider Enterprise Zone employment area employees and customers.
The proposals also include a roundabout next to the entrance to the Airport car park 1, as well as pavement and improved pedestrian crossing leading to the Academy and hotel. Discussions with landowners are at an advanced stage to enable the work, including construction of the diversionary route, to take place. The scheme will also support the development of the France-Alderney-Britain (FAB) electric substation.
Matt Roach, Managing Director of Exeter Airport, said: “This project opens up huge potential for future growth and unlocks jobs and investment. It will improve access to Exeter Airport as a major transport hub for the south west and cements its role as a critical driver of the regional economy.”
In welcoming today’s Cabinet decision, Flybe CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener said: “Our airline provides essential air connectivity to and from the region for both business and leisure travellers. The current state of Long Lane poses significant limitations on access to and around the airport.
“For Flybe it is critical to ensure safe access for our 900-plus employees, guests visiting our Exeter HQ in the New Walker Hangar and our customers flying to and from Exeter Airport. All Flybe facilities, including the aircraft maintenance facilities and the Flybe Training Academy are accessed along Long Lane that is currently unfit for purpose. Flybe is very pleased by Devon County Council’s decision to support this much-needed upgrade to Long Lane.”