Charles Cross works to begin in new year

Work to improve Charles Cross roundabout will begin in the new year.

The roundabout, with Charles Church at its centre, is one of the key junctions on Plymouth’s transport network, handles high volumes of traffic and is used by the majority of the city’s bus routes. It is also well-used by pedestrians.

The Charles Cross Improvements Scheme will reduce delays and improve traffic flow by increasing capacity for all vehicles whilst making crossings friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.

The scheme will support Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan by providing the infrastructure needed to reinforce the city as a regional centre for shopping, employment, education and leisure.

The main body of the work is expected to begin in early 2019 and is scheduled to finish in time for Christmas.

Before work can begin on the project, telecommunications provider BT will be on site to carry out some preparation works. This will start on Monday 19 November and will not involve having to work on the road network itself.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Charles Cross is one of the city’s key junctions so it is very important that we invest in it so that it is fit for generations to come.

“There is no good time to carry out a major road scheme. At the moment, 40,000 vehicles use Charles Cross every day and this figure will only increase as the city continues to grow. We have to act now to improve journey times for regular users of the route.”

Charles Cross roundabout from Charles Street

Charles Cross roundabout from Charles Street

Planned improvements to the junction include an additional lane for traffic heading southbound on to the roundabout from Charles Street and a new layout for traffic and pedestrians designed to ease queuing on Exeter Street. This will include the removal of the existing separate bus priority signals from Exeter Street onto the roundabout, improving the flow for all traffic, but with additional bus priority on the roundabout itself. .

There would also be changes to the road layout northbound on Charles Street,, including the removal of the traffic island between the roundabout and the entrance to Drake Circus car park, again to improve the flow for all traffic..

The pedestrian crossings at the Drake Circus car park entrance are to be widened and straightened to provide a more direct link for people walking to The Box when it opens in 2020.
Improvements to Hampton Street and the Ebrington Street junction will see the ageing subway infilled and .improvements made to the surface level crossing on Hampton Street.

The scheme will coordinate with the new Bretonside Leisure complex and The Box to minimise potential disruption during this period of transformation.

Charles Church, in the centre of the roundabout, will remain unaffected; respected as a monument to citizens of Plymouth who lost their lives during the Second World War.

Details are also available here: