Charles Cross consultation begins

Plymouth City Council is inviting people to share their views on proposals to improve Charles Cross Roundabout.

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

The Charles Cross Transport Improvements Scheme will reduce delays and improve traffic flow by increasing capacity for all vehicles and make the roundabout friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.

The scheme will support the City Centre Masterplan and the 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 proposed changes to Charles Cross Roundabout

The proposed changes to Charles Cross Roundabout

Improvements under consideration 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. There would also be changes to the road layout on Charles Street between the roundabout and the Drake Circus car park to improve traffic flow for both cars and buses.

A new pedestrian crossing is also proposed just north of the Drake Circus car park entrance to replace the existing crossing arrangements and provide a more direct link for people walking to the new History Centre when it opens in 2020.

Improvements to Hampton Street and the Ebrington Street junction could also be in the pipeline with plans for the ageing subway to be infilled and replaced with improved surface crossing facilities.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Planning said: “This scheme is good news for the city centre. Charles Cross is a key gateway to the city centre, and a busy part of the highway network, used by shoppers, businesses, commuters and other visitors to the city.

“Around 40,000 vehicles travel through Charles Cross roundabout every day and there are also high numbers of pedestrians on the surrounding roads.

Charles Cross roundabout from Charles Street

Charles Cross roundabout from Charles Street

“Charles Cross is also a crucial part of the city’s bus network with over 130 buses travelling through the roundabout every hour of the working day.

“Once completed these improvements will make journeys easier and smoother and provide more reliable journey times for all road users, as well as supporting the growth and development of the city centre.”
The scheme will coordinate with the new Bretonside Leisure complex and History Centre development 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 those who lost their lives during the Second World War.
People will be able to view and comment on the plans at three consultation events:
• Saturday 9 September 10am to 4pm at Plymouth Central Library
• Thursday 14 September 4pm to 8pm at the Plymouth Guildhall
• Wednesday 20 September 10am to 2pm at Plymouth Central Library

Further details and a questionnaire are also available on our dedicated Charles Cross webpage.

The next step is to submit a business case for approval from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership asking for a £2.1 million contribution towards the £4.7 million scheme.

If the plans are approved construction is expected to get underway in 2018 and will take approximately a year.