Plans for improving traffic flow in the Derriford area have taken a major step forward with the selection of a preferred transport scheme for Derriford Roundabout and the William Prance Road junction.
The Derriford Transport Scheme 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. The first phase will get under way next week, when construction begins on the Marjon Link Road.
Residents and businesses were asked to share their views on four potential schemes designed to reduce congestion, create more road capacity for the extra traffic that will be generated by proposed developments in the area and improve facilities for public transport, walking and cycling.
More than 500 responses were received, with widespread support for a scheme to address the current traffic flow problems along this part of the A386 Tavistock Road. However, there was not a clear consensus on which proposal was favoured. In deciding which scheme to take forward, the Council has considered all feedback received, along with other factors such as impact on the wider road network and the environment, cost and value for money.
The preferred option is to upgrade the existing roundabout to provide additional traffic lanes, new bus lanes and improved traffic signals. Keeping the roundabout means all current traffic movements can be maintained (including the ability to ‘U-turn’ using the roundabout), the impact on trees and vegetation will be reduced compared to the other options considered and traffic flow will be significantly improved.
This will be combined with improvements to the William Prance Road junction, including new lanes for general traffic as well as buses.
Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This is a key route for people travelling between the city centre and the north of the city and provides access to Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park. It is often congested at peak times and proposed developments in the area will put even more pressure on the transport network. The Derriford Transport Scheme will help to keep traffic moving as our city grows, improve bus journey times and reliability and provide better pedestrian crossings and cycle routes.”
The Derriford Transport Scheme has been shortlisted for funding from the Heart-of-the-South-West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the body responsible for allocating funding for large-scale transport schemes across Plymouth, Devon, Torbay and Somerset. The preferred option has now been submitted to the LEP and, subject to final funding approval, construction is expected to start in 2016. Work is likely to take around 12 months.
To view the consultation report and options assessment report, which outlines the detailed evaluation of all of the options, see our Derriford Transport Scheme consultation page.