Signal junction option for Woolwell to The George scheme

Woolwell RoundaboutPlymouth’s long term plan to tackle one of the worst bottlenecks in the city is likely to include a new signal junction at Woolwell, say transport planners.

Extensive modelling has been carried out on a number of options to improve traffic flow between Woolwell Roundabout and The George Junction, a key commuter route into the city centre.

This stretch of road is used by more than 30,000 vehicles during the day and there are often queues and delays at peak times, caused by traffic having to merge over very short distances. All of the options included in the consultation would see the road widened between Woolwell Roundabout and The George to provide two lanes in each direction, removing the need to merge.

Findings have now concluded that the signal junction offers the best long term answer to expected increases in traffic as a result of ambitious plans for the north of the city.

Over 2,000 new homes, bringing with them hundreds of new jobs are featured in the Joint Local Plan that the Council have worked on with South Hams and West Devon.

A public consultation on the scheme was launched in 2017 and the results have now been published.

There were nearly 600 responses to the consultation with widespread support for a scheme to address traffic congestion problems along the A386 Tavistock Road between Woolwell Roundabout and The George Junction.

Since the consultation, further testing has been carried out on all the design options to take into account current traffic as well as a predicted increase in traffic from new development sites.

While initial results showed that all options would deliver improvements to traffic flow, detailed testing has shown that the best performing option is the one where Woolwell Roundabout becomes a signal junction.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “We have looked at the options for this part of the northern corridor – the A386 – and have taken on board comments from people during the consultation.

“We have to work from the evidence that we have and what that tells us is that the roundabout options simply cannot match the benefits of the signal junction and by keeping the roundabout, there would continue to be lengthy queues at Woolwell in the future.

“After considering the performance of the options and impacts on the environment as well as the feedback we have decided to go forward with the option that removes Woolwell Roundabout and replaces it with a traffic signal junction.

“This will also include a new signal controlled junction where Woolwell Crescent meets Tavistock Road to provide a route for traffic travelling north from Woolwell.”

The Council are now working on the next stage of design to confirm the details of the scheme. There will be further public consultation on the proposals in the New Year.

The full consultation report is available here: