The UK’s New Commuter Belt; What Will Investment in the A303 and Exeter’s New Flights to City Airport Mean for the South West?
Property purchasers looking in the depths of Hampshire all the way down to Honiton have traditionally been downsizers, second home owners and those who don’t need daily access to the Capital for work. However, the Department of Transport’s plans to invest £2 billion into the A303 by 2020 to ensure it becomes a ‘superhighway’ and the new Flybe flights from Exeter to City Airport change the story somewhat.
The A303 has traditionally sent shivers of fear through both local residents and holiday makers, especially in the summer months where the stretch close to Stonehenge can see delays reach up to an hour. The road is just not made for the sheer weight of traffic. The UK government is proposing a new 1.5 mile tunnel (much like the one at Hindhead) underneath the Stonehenge stretch which will ease congestion and from a property perspective will open up the South West market to a new group of purchasers.
There will be a few local ‘winners’ along the new A303 route such as Sherborne, Salisbury and Honiton. Jon Dakin, Associate Director of Humberts in picturesque Sherborne has seen prices rise in the town and the surrounding popular villages such Bradford Abbas by eight per cent over the last year.
Honiton is a town which will not only experience the benefits of the new A303 but the brand new daily Flybe flights from Exeter to City Airport taking just over 40 minutes are to Ian Lange, Director of Humberts in Honiton ‘….a game changer’.Honiton is just 15 minutes from Exeter Airport and he has already seen an uplift in demand for property in the surrounding villages. Ian Lange says: “With up to three flights a day Flybe expect to have 79,000 passengers on the Exeter to City route per year – for us, this means a huge increase in Londoners looking to purchase property in the area which will in turn have a positive effect on property prices. Our advice is to strike whilst the iron is hot and for those thinking of buying now is the time.”
Humberts is proud to have a strong presence across the South West - if you require any further information about the property market in the area please do get in touch with one of our local branches to find out more.