Detailed plans for improving traffic flow in the Derriford area will be on public display next week.
The Derriford Transport Scheme, which will see improvements on the A386 Tavistock Road, aims to reduce congestion and create more road capacity for the extra traffic that will be generated by proposed developments in the area. It will also include better facilities for public transport, walking and cycling.
A preferred option was chosen in December 2014 following consultation with residents and businesses and we are now inviting people to view and comment on more detailed designs before the scheme is finalised.
Derriford Roundabout and the William Prance Road junction will be upgraded with additional traffic lanes, new bus lanes and improved traffic signal operation, as well as new, marked cycle lanes and new pedestrian crossings. Walking and cycling improvements will also extend towards The George Park and Ride.
People will be able to view and discuss the latest plans at two public exhibitions being held at our Windsor House building on Tavistock Road:
- Thursday 8 October (3pm to 7pm)
- Saturday 10 October (10am to 2pm)
The next step will be to develop a final business case for approval by the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP), which is contributing £10.16 million towards the £12.72 million scheme. Construction is expected to get under way in Spring 2016 and take around 12 months.
The Derriford Transport Scheme is part of a ‘master plan’ of highway improvements that will help unlock development and deliver 9,000 new jobs and 3,000 new homes in the north of the city.
The first of these essential infrastructure improvements is the newly opened Marjon Link Road and funding has already been earmarked for future phases including the proposed Forder Valley Link Road.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Planning, said: “The A386 is the main route to and from the north of the city – including Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park. It is often congested, especially at peak times and future growth in the area will put even more pressure on this busy part of our transport network. The Derriford Transport Scheme, together with our other planned infrastructure improvements, will help to keep traffic moving, improve bus journey times and reliability and provide better walking and cycling facilities along this key route.”
What is the Derriford Transport Scheme?
The Derriford Transport Scheme aims to reduce congestion between Derriford Roundabout and William Prance Road and create more road capacity for the extra traffic that will be generated by proposed developments in the area. Bus priority measures will be provided at both junctions to improve journey times and make services more reliable, particularly to Derriford Hospital. Pedestrian crossing facilities and on-road cycle facilities will also be improved.
This section of the A386 is a key route for people travelling between the city centre and the north of the city and it provides access to key destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park. Both Derriford Roundabout and William Prance Road manage very large volumes of traffic throughout the day and are often congested at peak times.
Proposed developments in the Derriford and Seaton areas could see around 3,000 new homes, as well as a new district centre, new shops and businesses and a new school. This will increase the number of people travelling to and from the Derriford area and put further pressure on the transport network.
How will the scheme be paid for?
The Department for Transport allocates funding for large scale transport schemes to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The Heart-of-the-South-West (HotSW) LEP covers Plymouth, Devon, Torbay and Somerset and it is currently considering which schemes from across its region should receive funding.
One of the schemes shortlisted for the first round of available funding is the Derriford Transport Scheme. In addition to the LEP funding we also have to provide a local financial contribution and it is anticipated this will come from new developments in the Derriford and Seaton areas.
When will work begin?
Subject to the HotSW LEP providing final approval for funding, it is expected that construction would start in 2016 and is likely to take about 12 months.
We have carried out a considerable amount of feasibility work to see how we can improve the flow of traffic along this busy route and manage the additional journeys that will come from future developments. We have also looked at how we can provide greater priority for buses and better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, so we can encourage more people out of their cars and help to keep our transport network moving as the city grows.
In deciding which scheme to take forward, we have considered the consultation results, along with other factors such as impact on the wider road network and the environment, cost and value for money.
The preferred option is to upgrade the existing roundabout to provide additional traffic lanes, new bus lanes and upgraded traffic signals along with walking and cycling improvements. Keeping the roundabout means all current traffic movements can be maintained (including the ability to 'U-turn' using the roundabout), the impact on trees and vegetation will be reduced compared to the other options considered and traffic flow will be significantly improved.
This will be combined with improvements to the William Prance Road junction, including new lanes for general traffic as well as buses.