Kingsteignton Bypass 1973 -1976

The first bypass for Kingsteignton was proposed in the 1930s with a route chosen along Football Lane, Longford Lane, Ware Cross, Vicarage Hill with a cut through to Newton Road  along what is now Greenhill Way. This route was superceded  in the early 1950s with a westerly route suggested from Newton Road cutting across Homers Lane behind St Michael's Road then across Broadway Road, through the former clay-workings at Newcross to join Five Lanes via a widened Strap Lane. This remained the chosen route until  1965 when an amended route taking the road from near Abbrook Farm to Sandygate swinging east behind Sandygate Pottery and Eagle House to join the A380 on Coombe Hill was proposed. A year later this route ranked as 3rd in the DCC list of priorities for new roads.  Thus, it came as somthing of a surprise when just acouple of years later a completely new easterly route was chosen stretching from near Eagle Farm to cut through Golvers Hill and on to Hackney before crossing the Teign Estuary to reach Penn Inn. Despite objections on environmental grounds, Ministerial approval was granted in 1972.  The contract for the work was awarded to Peter Lind & Co, the company which built the Post Office Tower in London. Earthmoving and excavations were sub-contracted to F T White & Co and Constable Hart with Demarok Ltd being tasked with blasting operations.

Work started in 1973 which was to change the face of Kingsteignton forever. Along its route 1¼  million cubic metres of material had to be excavated.  The "cut & fill" methods used  meant that much of the waste was used in the building of embankments and infilling valleys.  The final cost of the by-pass, originally estimated at £5 million, soared to a staggering £9¼  million by the time of its completion, due in part to the unforeseen difficult rock formations encountered along the route. The operation was the biggest road scheme ever undertaken by Devon County Council. By the time of its completion there had been two fatalities. One, at the site of the Ware Barton roundabout was caused by a driver failing to see the traffic controls due to the clouds of  dust created by the heavy plant working on the route. The vehichle was crushed under a gigantic earth-moving lorry.  The other involved a young boy, Jeremy King, playing in his front garden in Longford Lane, being struck by a rock blasted from the cutting over a quarter of a mile away!  There is a seat in memory of Jeremy beside Kingsteignton Swimming Pool.

With all the inconvenience and tragedies suffered it is perhaps not surprising that the villagers held a week of celebrations when it was all over. A pageant of local history was performed in the Parish Church wherein a plaque was placed to commemorate the event.

In 1973 the re-routed A38 dual carriageway to Plymouth was opened.  That scheme also involved the placing of a new road through part of the parish near Bellamarsh along the course of the old Teign Valley Railway Line.  This, along with the A380 and the main rail line, means that three of South West England's most important arteries of communication pass through the parish of Kingsteignton.




The picture is from a slide taken by by the late Miss Barbara Laws of a section of Humber Lane which the route of the by-pass cut through. The Humber Lane Bridge now straddles the highway where the lane used to be.

The photos below were taken by Mike Rendell and record the changes taking place on what were once the routes of favourite walks around the parish.




Looking from Echogate towards Sands Copse






Looking down Lindridge Lane




Looking south from Higher Willhays towards Rydon. The field in the centre of the photo which bore the name Great Coombe (more popularly k/a Steep Field) was once, at times of snow, the favourite spot to take your toboggan or sledge. When it became apparent that the amount of rock and earth material to be cleared for the bypass route had been underestimated the southern portion of the field was used for tipping surplus spoil as the valley (coombe) was infilled up to lane level. It now forms a small recreation area.





Taken from the northern gate of Great Coombe looking south towards Higher Rydon Quarry. You can still see part of the quarry face.

The culvert to take the "winterbourne" stream  which runs through the Lindridge Valley down to Rydon had just been laid. Faced with more spoil than had been reckoned with It was later decided to extend the culvert into the quarry as far as the old limekiln and tip on top of it to accomodate more tipping. Higher Rydon Quarry was infilled with overburden and spoil from the cutting.





This shot gives one a good idea of the size of the culvert when compared to the parked landrover on the left of the picture. All the land to the right of the fence was infilled and now the culvert is buried below the A380.









The bare slopes of the cutting looking back towards the Hestow Lane bridge.



This shot was taken from Humber Lane bridge looking down over Hollam  (where Abbotswood was built - not sure what the Abbot of Torre ever had to do with Kingsteignton) towards the village.











Looking along the bypass cutting towards Humber Lane Bridge from the Coombesend Road footbridge shortly after the road was opened. The cutting slopes were bare and there were no central barriers.





The view in the opposite direction. To the right one can pick out the  main site just below Penns Mount from which operations were directed and materials were stored.





Looking from Coombesend Road along the new embankment being built  up to take the road towards the Ware Barton roundabout and beyond.






The Hunt family inspecting the  start of the new viaduct across the Teign at Hackney.

The views below were taken by the late Dave Sanders when he was working on the viaduct.





Concrete being pumped up from a lorry sited on the saltmarsh





Concrete being poured out of the mixer to the pumping mechanism.





Looking from the viaduct to the cutting through Golvers Hill




Infilled section of Great Coombe (aka Steep Field) & Higher Rydon Quarry in 1976 with new laybys . This area is now for some reason, best explained by the befuddled logic of Teignbridge Council, deemed to have been part of Eagle Farm!




The residents of Kingsteignton were so pleased that the years of noise, dust and tragedies were behind them that a pageant to celebrate the opening of the road was held in the parish church.