Forder Valley Link Road takes next major step

Plymouth’s Forder Valley Link Road has reached another major milestone, with the final business case being given the green light for submission to Department for Transport (DfT). 

After months of detailed planning and design work the business case will be submitted in January and hopefully release a £22.56 million investment earmarked for the scheme.

The Forder Valley Link Road will create an additional route from the east of the city to the north, avoiding the often heavily congested Manadon Roundabout and A386 Tavistock Road.

This will not only reduce journey times and improve traffic flow between the A38 and Derriford but also provide essential infrastructure needed to unlock growth in the north of the city, identified in the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan.

The new link will make it easier to get to destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and Plymouth Science Park, open up the potential for new bus links from the east of the city and provide safer walking and cycling routes.

Planning permission was granted in July and most of the pre-construction civil engineering and design work is now complete, along with more detailed costings.

The total delivery cost of the scheme has increased to an estimated £54.78m, mainly due to unfavourable ground conditions being detected during investigations and an increase in the width of the main link road (which will require more biodiversity measures such as hedgerow, vegetation and tree planting and wildlife habitats).

Work to reduce these costs is ongoing and different construction options and funding opportunities are being explored to make savings wherever possible.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, said: “The Forder Valley Link Road will provide vital extra capacity on Plymouth’s road network and help deliver new jobs and homes in the north of the city.

“A great deal of work has gone into scoping and costing the scheme and preparing a strong business case that will hopefully secure the funding already earmarked for this regionally significant infrastructure project.”

A decision is expected from the DfT in Spring 2019 and if funding is approved further details about the scheme and construction will be released then. The scheme has already been successful in securing £4.7m from Highways England.