Work to upgrade Plymouth’s second busiest bus interchange will get under way next week.
The Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme, which has been developed in partnership with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, will convert the existing one-way bus link through the hospital to allow buses to travel in both directions. It will also create separate taxi and passenger drop-off points and provide three additional bus stops.
As well as reducing congestion outside the main entrance and making bus journeys to and from the hospital quicker and more reliable, the scheme will provide better waiting areas for bus and taxi passengers and those getting dropped off or picked up by car.
It is estimated to cost just over £2 million, with £1.4 million being provided by the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership. The remaining funding will be provided by the Council and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
The new interchange 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. Other schemes include the Derriford Transport Scheme which is due to start later this year, as well as the new Marjon Link Road, which opened in September 2015.
Preparations are being made this week to get the site ready for the main works, which are due to start on Monday 8 February. Construction will be carried out by the Council’s highways contractor Amey and is programmed to take nine months.
During that time access along the front of the hospital’s main entrance will be restricted to buses, Hackney Carriages and emergency vehicles.
All drop-off traffic will be re-directed to Car Park F, where facilities will be provided for anyone who needs assistance. Some sections of footpath will be closed during the works but alternative routes and crossing points will be provided.
Access for cyclists will be maintained throughout the works and all building entrances will remain open. All diversion routes will be clearly signed.
Access to Accident and Emergency will not be affected.
Disruption will be kept to a minimum but anyone travelling to Derriford Hospital is advised to plan ahead and add extra time to their journey.
Paul Barnard, the Council’s Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “The area outside Derriford Hospital is often congested, especially at peak time and this scheme should make a big difference to patients, staff and visitors.
“By providing extra space for buses and making this a two-way link we will not only improve service reliability for bus passengers, but also help to improve bus journey times and keep traffic moving along the whole northern corridor.
“The scheme will also provide much better, safer areas for people being picked up and dropped off at the hospital.”
Nick Thomas, Director of Planning and Site Services at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This scheme is an important investment in the city’s infrastructure which will benefit people visiting our hospital and ease traffic flow more generally.
“We are working closely with Plymouth City Council and other interested parties, to ensure developments on site are in the interests of our patients, visitors and staff.
“While the improvements are being carried out we realise there will be some disruption so we apologise in advance and ask everyone to be patient.”
Information about the scheme is available on our Derriford Hospital Interchange web page.