25 November 2014

Marjon Link: Coming very soon

Following on from yesterdays news from Plymouth City Council we move North to another major transport scheme. This one is much more advanced in that the work itself is about to start.

Work to build a new link road between the University of St Mark and St John (Marjon) and Derriford Hospital will get under way on Monday 8 December. The Marjon Link Road scheme will widen the existing road between Plymbridge Lane and Derriford Road to provide a new two-way link for buses. This will reduce journey times and improve reliability by allowing buses to access the university and hospital without using Derriford Roundabout.
Developed in partnership with the university and Derriford and Nuffield Hospitals, the scheme also includes a shared pedestrian and cycle path and will provide better access to the university campus. Plymouth City Council was awarded over £1 million for the scheme through the Department for Transport’s Local Pinch Point Fund, boosted by an additional £745,000 of developer contributions. The remaining £600,000 of the scheme cost is being funded by the Council.
The new link road will make it easier to access Derriford by bus, help to ease congestion on the main route into Plymouth from the north and, together with the recently built Runway Road, provide some of the strategic transport infrastructure needed to support Derriford’s future growth.
As part of the scheme a dedicated lane will be provided on Derriford Road for traffic turning right into the hospital, which will not only reduce delays for buses serving the hospital but also other traffic wanting to travel straight on at this junction, towards Estover. This should improve journey times for people needing to access the Plymouth Science Park and other business sites.
The layout of this junction will be improved, with better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, including safer crossings. A new roundabout will be installed at the northern end of the link road and new bus stops with shelters will be provided.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The new link road will make a big difference to people living, working and studying in Derriford, as well as those travelling in and out of Plymouth along this busy route.
“It will help to reduce congestion at Derriford Roundabout and improve the reliability of bus services – which should encourage operators to extend more of their services to call in at Derriford Hospital and the University of St Mark and St John.
“It will also provide better and safer facilities for pedestrians and cyclists and form part of the new north-to-south cycle route between Derriford and the city centre.”
Work to build the new link road is being carried out by the Council’s highways contractor Amey and is expected to take around 39 weeks. The existing road will be closed for all users (including buses, cyclists and pedestrians) between Thursday 11 and Friday 19 December and then from Monday 5 January for the duration of the works. Alternative routes, which will be via Derriford Road, will be signposted.

People are advised to allow extra time for any journeys being made in and through the area.

Some sections of footpath near the works will be closed during the works but alternative routes and crossing points will be provided. Vehicle movements in the area will be controlled with traffic lights at times. Plymouth City Council News Room

A few images from 2002 to show how awkward the current road layout can be, buses often grounding on the exit before swinging across to get into the Derriford site:

Plymouth Citybus 1204L124YOD First Western Nationa 4615 N442BKY Plymouth Citybus 182 G621OTV

The line highlighted in blue above is the main point of this post! As anyone who travels, or tries to travel, through this part of Plymouth at peak times will know this area is prone to traffic congestion on an epic scale. Derriford Hospital is the focal point for all of this chaos.  It can only take one minor accident or even an awkwardly placed breakdown anywhere in the North Plymouth area to completely seize up the whole road system. It can be guaranteed that once these roadworks start on the main Derriford Road on this junction then there will be major problems. As well as the road up to Majon, this whole junction is being remodeled. There is no way that can be done easily! Watch this blog for frequent updates on this major project...

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