Work to upgrade Plymouth’s second busiest bus interchange will get under way this week.
The Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme, which has been developed in partnership with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, will convert the existing one-way bus link through the hospital to allow buses to travel in both directions. It will also create separate taxi and passenger drop-off points and provide three additional bus stops.
As well as reducing congestion outside the main entrance and making bus journeys to and from the hospital quicker and more reliable, the scheme will provide better waiting areas for bus and taxi passengers and those getting dropped off or picked up by car.
It is estimated to cost just over £2 million, with £1.4 million being provided by the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership. The remaining funding will be provided by the Council and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
The new interchange 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. Other schemes include the Derriford Transport Scheme which is due to start later this year, as well as the new Marjon Link Road, which opened in September 2015.
Preparations are being made this week to get the site ready for the main works, which are due to start on Monday 8 February. Construction will be carried out by the Council’s highways contractor Amey and is programmed to take nine months.
During that time access along the front of the hospital’s main entrance will be restricted to buses, Hackney Carriages and emergency vehicles.
All drop-off traffic will be re-directed to Car Park F, where facilities will be provided for anyone who needs assistance. Some sections of footpath will be closed during the works but alternative routes and crossing points will be provided.
Access for cyclists will be maintained throughout the works and all building entrances will remain open. All diversion routes will be clearly signed.
Access to Accident and Emergency will not be affected.
Disruption will be kept to a minimum but anyone travelling to Derriford Hospital is advised to plan ahead and add extra time to their journey.
Paul Barnard, the Council’s Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “The area outside Derriford Hospital is often congested, especially at peak time and this scheme should make a big difference to patients, staff and visitors.
“By providing extra space for buses and making this a two-way link we will not only improve service reliability for bus passengers, but also help to improve bus journey times and keep traffic moving along the whole northern corridor.
“The scheme will also provide much better, safer areas for people being picked up and dropped off at the hospital.”
Nick Thomas, Director of Planning and Site Services at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This scheme is an important investment in the city’s infrastructure which will benefit people visiting our hospital and ease traffic flow more generally.
“We are working closely with Plymouth City Council and other interested parties, to ensure developments on site are in the interests of our patients, visitors and staff.
“While the improvements are being carried out we realise there will be some disruption so we apologise in advance and ask everyone to be patient.”
The bus interchange at Derriford Hospital is the second busiest in the city. The Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme will convert the existing one-way bus link through the hospital to allow buses to travel in both directions. It will also create separate taxi and passenger drop-off points and provide three additional bus stops.
The scheme will reduce congestion outside the main entrance and make bus journeys to and from the hospital quicker and more reliable. The waiting areas for bus and taxi passengers and those getting dropped off or picked up by car will also be improved.
The total cost of the scheme is estimated at just over £2 million. The Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) – the body responsible for allocating funding for large-scale transport schemes across Plymouth. Devon, Torbay and Somerset – has recognised the regional importance of the scheme and has awarded £1.4 million towards delivery from its Growth Fund. The remaining funding will be provided by the Council and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme is part of a master plan of highway improvements that will help to unlock development and deliver 9,000 new jobs and 3,000 new homes in the north of the city.Other schemes include the Derriford Transport Scheme which is due to start later this year, as well as the new Marjon Link Road, which opened in September 2015.
Planning permission for the Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme was granted in January 2016. The application number is 15/02189/FUL and all of the documents can be viewed on the planning online page.
The works will involve a complicated traffic management plan which will ultimately mean that only Buses and Ambulances will be allowed to travel passed the main entrance during these works, all other traffic will be stopped. Below is a summary of what the traffic management arrangements will mean for staff, patients and visitors.
· Only Buses, Emergency Vehicles and Patient Transport will be allowed to drive passed the main entrance for 9 months. The contractor will have a manned barrier in operation preventing access to all but authorised vehicles.
· All drop off and pick up for the main entrance will be via Car Park F (new car park next to main outpatients). Car Park F offers free parking for the first hour.
· A temporary welcome and mobility centre will be located in car park F. This will consist of a manned port-a-cabin, welcome area with seating etc where members of the public can wait to be collected. In addition patients and visitors can wait here while relatives park the car and return to escort them into the Hospital. Alternatively patients or visitors with limited mobility can wait here to be given a lift via a mobility (golf type) buggy to and from the main entrance, if they feel it is too far to walk. This will be a free courtesy service for the duration of the works.
· There will be no motorcycle parking outside the main entrance during these works. Motorcycle parking is available in two marked areas within car park F as well as car park B, C, MSCP and near Maternity.
· Car Park public A has been reversed. Access is now via the mini roundabout off Derriford Road. When cars exit A they will only be able to turn left back out onto Derriford Road and not use car park A to cut through the site.
· Staff Car Parks C & D - Staff who leave via staff car park C will have to exit the site via the Marjons traffic lights. Staff who leave via car park D will have the option of leaving via Morlaix Drive or the mini roundabout. Staff will not be able to drive in front of the main entrance to get from one side of the site to the other. Staff who exit the MSCP or NWQ will be unaffected.
· Patients who drop off/collect specimens, commodes etc from the main entrance will have to park in car park F and walk to the main entrance.
· Buses will drop off in the current location outside Plym. However the current bus stops will be closed. Instead temporary bus stops will be in position nearer to the Hospital building.
· During all works pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.
· New signage will be place both on Derriford Road and on site to direct patients and visitors.
As with any chnage in traffic management at or near Derriford Hospital the first few days at least are likely to be chaotic so expect delays. If you can avoid the ear then do so - sadly not an option for those who work there!