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Cycle route improvements

We're developing a network of routes linking each of the neighbourhoods in Plymouth so that cyclists can travel conveniently and more safely across the city.

Plymouth's Strategic Cycle Network

Locally we're committed to our Strategic Cycle Network (SCN) - a plan of cycle routes, paths and lanes that we aim to create in the city that's suitable for cyclists of all levels.

The network is colour-coded with the faster purple routes (which involve dealing with traffic) for experienced cyclists and the slower but safer green routes for less experienced and leisure cyclists and children. Where the purple and green routes meet they'll be developed so that they're suitable for all cyclists.

As part of the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan we've developed a new aspirational Strategic Cycle Network (SCN).

Plymouth’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Active Travel Fund Programme

On 9 May the Transport Secretary announced £2 billion to support walking and cycling.  Of the £2 billion, the Government advised £250 million would be made available to support a ‘series of swift, emergency interventions to make cycling and walking safer,’ of which £25 million has been set aside for a bicycle maintenance voucher (£50 voucher for up to 500,000 people). Please visit the GOV.UK website for information on the bicycle vouchers

Plymouth City Council has secured £1,194,250 from the Fund; £249,000 from phase one and £945,250 from phase two.

Our phase one, Emergency Active Travel Fund programme, was designed to promote cycling as a replacement for journeys previously made by public transport, and as a practical alternative to the private car. It includes a flagship intervention and a complementary programme built around the three pillars of the statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy; Better Safety, Better Mobility, Better Streets.

To read more Emergency Active Travel Fund.

The emphasis for the phase two, Active Travel Fund programme, is on schemes which support more cycling and walking in the longer term. To read more Active Travel Fund.

Northern corridor

This package will create 4.5 kilometres of our planned Strategic Cycle Network (SCN) and bring improvements for:

  • Southway to Plymbridge: Walking and cycling improvements between Southway and Plymbridge including an entirely off-road cycling route and improved crossings for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities. Partially completed, further funding required.
  • Tavistock Road from Derriford roundabout towards the George: This scheme has been completed connecting off-road cycle routes
  • Crownhill Road to the A38: New off-road cycle lanes plus the use of quiet roads; improved access to Shakespeare Primary School. This element is currently unfunded

Cost of the scheme

The scheme cost around £4.969 million so far – made up of £2.46 million from the Department for Transport, £1.459 million from the Transforming Cities Fund, £0.883 million from Plymouth City Council plus £0.167 million from local development.

Eastern corridor and city centre

This package will create over 5 kilometres of our planned Strategic Cycle Network (SCN) and bring improvements for:

  • City centre: Cycling and walking improvement as part of the regeneration on Old Town Street and New George Street
  • Barbican to Laira Rail Bridge: We've finished constructing improvements for pedestrians and cyclists along National Cycle Network route 27 (part of the South West Coast Path)
  • Laira Rail Bridge to Broxton Drive: We've now completed about 700 metres of new off-road shared surface path providing links in to the Saltram Meadow development. Construction of a more direct route to Broxton Drive has been completed
  • The Broxton Drive to Saltram Meadow scheme continued the high quality, traffic free walking and cycling route further east along the former railway alignment to tie into the planned roundabout on Billacombe road that will serve the eastern section of the Saltram Meadow development. The scheme is open.
  • The Ride cycle path: Widening of a 750 metre section of National Cycle Network route 27. Completed in May 2017.
  • the Somerset Place to Ponsonby Road scheme delivered a key link on the city's Strategic Cycle Network (SCN). It completes the upgrade of a poor quality and poorly used footpath into a wide, well lit and high quality shared cycle and footpath that makes it easier, safer, and more attractive to walk and cycle to Central Park and the Life Centre from Stoke and other neighbourhoods to the south and west of the park. Part of this scheme was delivered in 2013. The upgraded path was re-opened in April 2021. Scroll down for photos.
  • Saltram Meadow roundabout to Colesdown Hill scheme, along the former railway alignment, has planning approval and is anticipated for delivery in 2022.
  • Colesdown Hill underbridge scheme is now under development with the plan that this will continue the route along the former railway alignment eastwards under Colesdown Hill and back onto Elburton Road. Find out more about the Colesdown Hill underbridge scheme.

Cost of the scheme

The programme elements listed above are expected to cost around £8.575 million – made up of £3.42 million from the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership; £0.575 million from Transforming Cities Fund; £2.21 from the DfT’s Active Travel 4 fund; £130,000 from DfT Growth Deal; plus £2.24 million from the Sherford and Saltram Meadow developments.

Map highlighting walking and cycling route improvements

Somerset Place to Ponsonby Road (May 2021)

Images below show the completed route.

Completed Cycle Route - Somerset Place to Ponsonby Road
Completed Cycle Route - Somerset Place to Ponsonby Road
HM Government Logo
Blue and white logo saying heart of the south west Local Enterprise Partnership