21 August 2012

Laira Bridge Scheme

The second phase of improvements on the city’s Eastern Corridor will begin on Monday 3 September.

The work, being carried out by Plymouth Transport and Highways, will include changes to the junction of Finnigan Road and Laira Bridge Road to improve traffic flow over Laira Bridge and provide better crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

This junction regularly suffers from queuing traffic, particularly at peak times, and the crossing facilities are poor, with no pedestrian signals and narrow refuge islands. To help reduce congestion and improve journey times for people travelling over Laira Bridge, the right hand turn from Laira Bridge Road into Finnigan Road is going to be removed. This will significantly reduce the amount of time that traffic has to be held at this junction. It will also allow for new signal-controlled crossings to be installed across Finnigan Road and Laira Bridge Road, meaning pedestrians and cyclists can cross safely. Both crossings will link directly to the National Cycle Network route on Finnigan Road.

Access to the Faraday Mill industrial estate and other commercial areas in Cattedown will be maintained, via the new Embankment Lane, Cattewater Road and Faraday Road (in addition to existing access from Gdynia Way and Shapters Road).

To help minimise overall disruption on the road network, essential programmed maintenance work on Laira Bridge will be carried out at the same time. This work, which will improve and prolong the life of the structure, includes re-waterproofing the bridge decking, replacing expansion joints, resurfacing the road and installing new lighting columns.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport said: "It’s important that we improve traffic flow over and around Laira Bridge and reduce delays experienced by drivers. This is a vital artery into the city and we’re committed to making improvements that help motorists get around. The work on the bridge has to be done now or its condition will deteriorate further, which will require even more repair work at greater expense. It makes sense to co-ordinate the junction improvements with the bridge maintenance so there is a single set of works and future disruption is kept to a minimum. We will be monitoring traffic flow during the works to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimise delays.”

The Council wrote to residents and businesses in the area about the junction improvement works as part of a three-week consultation in early June. It also held a drop-in event in June, where members of the project team were on hand to provide more information about the proposals and answer any questions. Local bus companies have been informed and are currently reviewing their timetables.

The removal of the right hand turn into Finnigan Road will be implemented from the start of the works. For the duration of the project there will be one lane open in each direction over Laira Bridge and priority for public transport will be maintained wherever possible.

Other diversions will be in place during the works as part of a phased traffic management plan – these will be clearly signed and maps will be published on this website shortly. While works take place, the following restrictions will apply:

  • Vehicles will not be able to turn right from Laira Bridge Road into Finnigan Road (this will be a permanent change) or left into Finnigan Road from Faraday Road. (Traffic travelling towards the city centre on Laira Bridge Road will still be able to turn left into Finnigan Road until the last stages of works).
  • Traffic from Finnigan Road will not be able to turn left or right onto Laira Bridge Road.
  • When works are taking place on the northern carriageway (outbound lanes) of Laira Bridge, traffic from The Ride will not be able to turn right onto Billacombe Road to travel into the city and traffic from the city will not be able to turn left onto The Ride.

The £400,000 junction improvements are being funded from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the Council’s capital budget. The £740,000 maintenance work on the bridge is funded through the capital budget. Work is expected to finish before the Christmas shopping period but is heavily weather dependent.

Plymouth City Council

This is an area which has seen a massive amount of change over the last few years and it seems over the next few years too. This wonderful overhead view from the early 1980’s seems light years ago!


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1 comment:

  1. Three phases of work.

    Phase one - one lane open across the bridge in either direction.
    Phase two - contra-flow on the northern side of the bridge. Southern side shut completely.
    Phase three - contra-flow on southern side of the bridge. Northern side shut completely.

    If you live in or travel to and from Plymstock allow considerably more time for your journey. This work is likely to cause major disruption city wide as there is no real alternative for car drivers with Cot Hill already at saturation point during AM and PM peaks. Also the work is taking place during school term when there are always many more cars on the road.

    The work has to be done, or the bridge will eventualy become unsafe. It is my undersatnding that the work on the bridge should have been done at least five years ago!


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