Before the nice section of A30 HQDC between Honiton and Exeter opened in 1999, would it have been quicker and easier for traffic coming along the A303 from the M3 and South East to leave at Southfields roundabout and take the A358 to M5 J25 and then head south on the M5 rather than continue on the A303?
When travelling to the SW on family holidays in the late 70s/early 80s (ie after the M5 was completed), I always remember we took the A303/A30 all the way to Exeter, even though the old A30 between Honiton and Exeter wasn't that much better than the current Blackdown Hills section. Surely it would have been better to cut out that bad part west of Ilminster and hit the M5 sooner, even though it would have been 9 or so miles longer?
Did signs encourage Exeter traffic to go any particular way (A303/A30 v A358) back then? Would the DoT have wanted to keep as much traffic as possible from the Blackdown Hills? Or were they afraid of overloading the M5 south of J25 with both A303 and M4 traffic?
What would sat-navs have suggested if they'd been around in those days