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We are building a brand new link between the A38 and the north of the city. The road will include a new bridge across Bircham Valley, with a larger, raised, relocated signalised junction at the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road intersection. More information and diagrams can be found at the Plans page here.

Improvements will also be made at Forder Valley roundabout as part of the Forder Valley Interchange scheme, this will help to improve traffic flow and access for pedestrians and cyclists.

We have created 3D visuals to give an impression of what the finished scheme will look like, the images can be found here and the flythrough video here

Why is the scheme important?

The scheme is a critical part of the infrastructure package required to deliver Plymouth City Council’s growth aspirations, which are set out in the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan 2014-2034.

Together with the Derriford Transport Scheme, Derriford Hospital Interchange, Marjon Link Road, and the planned widening of the A386 between Woolwell and The George, this major new infrastructure will be key to unlocking growth in the north of Plymouth, where 4,300 new homes and a new district development of shops and community, leisure and health facilities are planned over the next 15 years.

The scheme itself will directly deliver 600 houses and 1,800 jobs in the Northern Corridor Growth Area.

The planned widening of Morlaix Drive will improve access to Derriford Hospital and connects with the Forder Valley Link Road to provide a direct route for buses from the east, including the future Park and Ride at Deep Lane. 

When will the new road be open?

Planned opening is February 2023.

How much will it cost and where did the funding come from?

Plymouth City Council have allocated £52m towards the scheme. £22.56m has been awarded from the Department for Transport Growth Deal and £4.7m from Highways England Growth and Housing Fund.

How did you develop the scheme?

We carried out a considerable amount of work to assess how traffic flow can be improved along this busy route and how the additional traffic from future developments can be managed.

A range of options were considered, and a preferred option was chosen that maximises benefits to road users and the local community.  This was then taken out to the public for consultation in autumn 2016. 

The scheme designs were then finalised, and the final Business Case was submitted to the Department for Transport in January 2019 with funding granted in February 2019.

How have you consulted and informed the public?

A public consultation was held in October 2016 inviting the public to comment on the plans.

The scheme also went through the local planning authority and as part of this process was opened up to consultation to the public and statutory consultees, including The Environment Agency and Natural England.

A series of public information events took place at the end of May 2019 to present the latest updates on the Forder Valley Link Road and how it will be built. These were held at the dates and venues below:

  • Thursday 16th May, Tor Bridge School, 2pm-7pm
  • Friday 17th May, Elm Community Centre, 10am-7pm
  • Saturday 18th May, Windsor House, Tavistock Road, 10am-2pm

Over 1,000 people attended these events providing residents and stakeholders with information about how the scheme would be managed, whilst working alongside nature and supporting the local community. This also provided the project team the opportunity to answer any questions and listen to concerns.

In addition, attendees were given the opportunity to sign up to receive updates from the project communications team, who are on site and able to provide regular contact with residents and local businesses.

If you would like to receive regular email updates throughout the scheme please email

How will the project benefit cyclists and pedestrians?

Walking and cycling facilities are provided throughout the scheme, linking all approaches to the junction. They include:

•         Advanced cycle stop lines on all approaches to the junction

•         An on-road cycle lane and a shared-use walking and cycling path going up the new link road

•         A shared-use walking and cycling path going down the link road, with a segregated section where the road is steepest (to separate pedestrians from faster-moving cycles)

•         Shared-use walking and cycling paths on both sides of Novorossiysk Road and Forder Valley Road South

•         A shared pedestrian and cycle crossing across Forder Valley Road West

•         Tactile paving at all crossing points for the visually impaired.

New shared-use, off-road facilities are also being provided through the surrounding area as part the Derriford Community Park project, making it easier for people to walk and cycle around the local nature reserves.

Images of the new road layout can be viewed here.

What will the speed limit be on the new road?

The new link road and junction layout have been designed for a 40mph speed limit. During construction the speed limit has been reduced to 30mph to ensure the safety of all road users and workers.

What are you doing at Forder Valley (Leigham) roundabout?

More information can be found on this schemes dedicated webpage here:

Are there any plans to permanently close Blunts Lane or change it to a one way?

We are improving the junction at the southern end with the new link road and creating a new access for Poole Farm, however there are currently no plans to close or alter Blunts Lane priority as part of this project.

Why are you closing Forder Valley Road west?

The difficult decision was taken to close Forder Valley Road west to enable the new junction for the Forder Valley Link Road to be constructed as efficiently and safely as possible. There are a number of reasons that Forder Valley Road west needs to be closed including:

  • To enable the new junction to be raised by 5m and tied in to Forder Valley Road west;
  • To allow the temporary routing of traffic over part of the newly constructed junction whilst work takes place on the existing road at a different level; and
  • To carry out major utility diversions which significantly extend the programme.

How will traffic be affected during the works?

In order to carry out the work, traffic diversions will be required. Most involve lane closures and contraflows but there will be a substantial road closure in the autumn of 2020, when Forder Valley Road west will close for 17 months to enable the new road to be built up and to construct the new and enlarged junction as safely and quickly as possible. A signed diversion will be in place.

Traffic Management Phases:

  • Phase 1 - Winter 2020 to Autumn 2020

Junction operating as normal but with 24/7 lane closures on Novorossiysk Road and a small section of Forder Valley Road south on the northbound approach to the junction. There will be one lane of traffic in each direction. The traffic lights at the junction will remain in place.

  • Phase 2 - Autumn 2020 to Winter 2021

Forder Valley Road west is closed to all vehicles and the official diversion route is via the A38 and the A386 Tavistock Road. Traffic lights at the Novorossiysk Road and Forder Valley Road junction will be switched off to allow the two arms to be free flowing. Phase 1 lane closures are still in place.

Pedestrians and cyclists can still use the closed Forder Valley Road west.

  • Phase 3a - Winter 2021 to Summer 2021

Same as Phase 2 but traffic on Novorossiysk Road and Forder Valley Road south will be diverted to use the new temporary junction on a temporary surface. The current/old junction will be removed and traffic will use the new level and new surface on Novorossiysk Road.

  • Phase 3b - Summer 2021 to Autumn 2021

Same as Phase 3a but Forder Valley Road west will open to cars only, westbound/up-hill. Novorossiysk Road westbound traffic (downhill) cannot turn up Forder Valley Road west, access will be onto Forder Valley Road south only to Leigham Roundabout/A38.

  • Phase 4 - Autumn 2021 to Spring 2022

New Novorossiysk Road and Forder Valley Road junction opens under traffic lights. Traffic is still under one lane in each direction.

  • Phase 5 - Spring 2022 to end

The new junction and all lanes will be open to all traffic, with the exception of the new link road access.


Will pedestrian access be affected?

During the scheme pedestrian and cyclist access will be maintained throughout with any diversions clearly signposted. 

If you have any specific question regarding this you can email

How close will you be working to my property?

There will be occasions when we are required to work close to some individual properties.

In advance of these circumstances we will always ensure contact has been made with the affected residents to explain the planned works and to understand any specific requirements they may have.

What are the hours of working?

The contractor will be working:

  • 08.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday;

  • 08.30 – 13.00 Saturdays; and

  • No Sunday, Bank Holiday or Public Holiday working.

It should be noted that the above times do not stop certain works being undertaken on the Site outside of these hours. Work may be permitted outside of these hours through prior agreement with the Local Planning Authority at the Council and will be conditional on the contractor informing local residents in advance of the proposed activity, including enabling works for the activity.

One hour before and one hour after the standard hours above are considered mobilisation hours where activities could take place in preparation for the days work.

What will you do to minimise mud and dirt on the roads?

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Construction Practice, all sites must ensure that the entrance, surrounding carriageways and footpaths are kept clean.

What measures are you putting in place to deal with noise?

Noise from construction operations and all other sources will be kept to a minimum at all times. The following general controls are to be applied on-site to minimise the effect of the construction activities in the local community:

  • Do not leave plant idling – switch off engines;

  • Do not leave plant running over night;

  • Keep plant well maintained and fit plant with silencers;

  • Select ‘sound reduced’ equipment where possible;

  • Control along path of noise from source to receiver e.g. barriers, screening, location of plant;

  • Control at Source e.g. silencers, vibration dampers, enclosure, construction method;

  • Control at receiver; and

  • Adhere to the Construction Traffic Management Plan.

Where noise monitoring is required, the Environmental Manager shall collate, analyse and share the data with PCC.



What measures are you putting in place to help with vibrations from construction?

We aim to avoid and reduce vibration and its impacts by:

  • Identifying sensitive receptors, evaluating the potential for vibration and damage;
  • Monitoring conditions before works start;
  • Informing neighbours in advance;
  • Monitoring vibration levels during the works;
  • Monitoring conditions after works are completed; and
  • Regular maintenance of plant and equipment.

How are you managing air quality and dust?

The following measures are to be implemented in order to minimise nuisance and negative impacts arising from dust and air emissions produced during the construction phase:

Site Management

  • Records of dust and air quality complaints to be kept, and shared with the LPA if requested, including likely causes and mitigation measures to reduce impacts if appropriate
  • During weekly site meetings, the site manager and the environmental manager will ensure the weather forecast is considered and based on site activities programmed, preventative dampening will be implemented to prevent nuisance dust
  • Site perimeter, fences etc. will be kept clean.

Site Planning

  • Consideration of dust generating potential of excavated material prior to commencement of works; and
  • Plan site layout to maximise distance from plant/stockpiles etc. to sensitive receptors.

Construction Traffic

  • Vehicles entering and leaving the Site with dust generating potential should be covered and dry wheel cleaning facilities made available
  • No idling of vehicles
  • Vehicles to comply with site speed limits (5mph within the Site compound and 10mph on-site).

Site Activities

  • Ensure any site machinery is well maintained and in full working order
  • Ensure equipment for cleaning spills etc. is available at all times
  • Sand and aggregates should be stored away from sensitive receptors where possible. Similarly, concrete batching should take place away from receptors
  • Cutting and grinding will be conducted using dust suppressed equipment and water sprays will be used to minimise dust emissions
  • The height from which materials will be tipped or dropped during transfer will be minimised
  • No burning will take place under any circumstance.

Can I still use the service station on Forder Valley Road?

The service station will remain open throughout the works and access will be maintained.

Will Poole Farm stay open?

Poole Farm will remain open throughout the construction of the link road. Invited visitors to the farm should contact them direct for access arrangements which will vary depending on whether visitors are in a vehicle or on foot. Planned deliveries to the farm will need to be agreed in advance with the farm personnel and Balfour Beatty security.

For more information about Poole Farm you can visit their website here:

How will you make sure the area is safe during the works?

Our contractor, Balfour Beatty, is committed to health and safety in every aspect of their work. Nothing is more important than ensuring everyone returns home safely every day. They strive to protect the workforce and anyone affected by our works at all times.

Pedestrians are always provided with safe crossing points and diversion routes.

Will there be any education, training, employment or work experience opportunities?

This scheme prides itself with the level of commitment to supporting the community with employment opportunities.

Anyone interested in any of the above can email where the team will deal with the enquiry.

What are you doing to protect wildlife during the works?


The environmental team have successfully completed a total of five stream diversions which equates to roughly 60m of watercourse and relocated 68 trout, 60 eels, 88 bull head and 7 sticklebacks.


Prior to works taking place on site 50 bird boxes were installed on existing trees outside the works area to provide alternative breeding habitats. The boxes are made from woodcrete and this material has increased durability compared to wooden boxes, therefore reducing the need for future maintenance.


Native black bees were found at Poole Farm by their staff and the hive was successfully relocated before works started.


Due to the loss of potential roosting sites within the construction footprint and to absorb any temporary displacement of bats through construction noise and vibration impacts, prior to habitat clearance, alternative roosts were provided. This involved the erection of 43 bat boxes which offer roosting opportunities for the different species within the associated retained habitats.

The use of temporary fencing such as Heras fencing with additional screens and mesh have been placed along bat flyways to replicate removed hedgerows. Dead-hedging or temporary hedges are being used alongside the fencing to strengthen the flyway in important areas.

These will be in place during the active bat season of March to October within all of the construction years and bat activity will also be monitored.


The council is working towards the aims of the Seaton and Lower Bircham Valley Local Nature Reserve (LNR) management plan, and is proposing to undertake a science-led, re-introduction of a pair of Eurasian Beavers into a fenced trial site in the Lower Bircham Valley starting in 2020. This would be the first beaver population in an urban setting in the UK since beavers became extinct from the British Isles in the 16th Century. 

As part of the reintroduction we are working in partnership with Devon Wildlife Trust, Derek Gow Consultancy, University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, Natural England, The West Country Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

The first Beaver has now been introduced, you can read more about it here.


Due to the mobile nature of otters, and the potential for transient resting sites, the movement of otters through the Site during the construction phase will be maintained by ensuring that otters have access to watercourses at all times.

An otter ledge will be included within the culvert which will also allow species (otter / badger) to move through. This will be positioned at a height above the 1 in 100-year flood level. The inclusions of trash screens will allow badger, otter, or bats (greater horseshoe) to pass through the gaps, whilst maintaining health and safety.

Why did you remove trees?

We have tried to keep the loss of trees to a minimum but around 400 to 450 along the alignment of the road have been removed. The trees are mainly oak and ash.

More than 14,500 trees will be planted – over 30 times the amount taken out – to offset the loss. This will ensure the landscape is restored as quickly as possible.

This has already started further up Novorossiysk Road where we have planted trees and shrubs.

Further areas of woodland, grassland and hedgerow will be enhanced across the city, including at Ernesettle Creek and Bircham Valley Local Nature Reserve, to improve spaces for wildlife, using the funding set aside for wildlife improvements.

Will you be making any improvements to the landscape around the new road?

As part of the construction for the new road we will also be creating on-site habitats and ecological features that will include:

  • Amenity grass;
  • Species rich grassland;
  • Woodland;
  • Scattered trees;
  • Scrub;
  • Amenity tree and shrub planting;
  • Native species hedgerows / Native species hedgerows with trees;
  • Marsh and wet grassland;
  • Banks and ditches;
  • An attenuation and wildlife ecology pond; and
  • A multi-species culvert located beneath the new road junction.

Habitat creation and enhancements are also proposed off-site including:

  • Restoration of existing woodland;
  • Restoration of existing grassland;
  • Creation of native species rich hedgerows with trees.

Creation of grassland habitats

A mosaic of grassland types will be created as part of the Proposed Scheme, including the following:

  • Meadow grasslands (species-rich grassland / wildflower meadow);
  • Marsh and wet grasslands (wet seasonally inundated grassland); and
  • Amenity grasslands.

Creation of tree / woodland habitats

Native and ornamental tree species that have been deemed appropriate to the ground conditions will be planted on-site. These will replace those lost, to facilitate the development and provide habitat for a variety of fauna.

Trees will either be planted in isolation or with sufficient space to allow a healthy root system and crown to develop. All new trees will be planted during the winter months (November – February) to reduce competition for nutrients and water, mulch will be used around the stem of each newly planted tree to restrict vegetation growth. Tree shelters will be used to protect the new growth from being damaged by grazing rabbits, deer and squirrel.

Some rotting timber will also be placed in the newly created woodland areas to add biodiversity.

Creation of hedgerow and scrub habitats

Native hedgerow and ornamental scrub planting is proposed. Planting will be undertaken during the winter months (November-February inclusive). To reduce competition for nutrients and water, mulch will be used around the stem of each newly planted whip. Tree spats and shelters will constrain vegetation growth immediately around the planted scrub and to protect the new growth from being damaged by grazing rabbits, deer and squirrel.

Creation of attenuation waterbody / Wildlife pond

An attenuation basin with ecological design will be created. This will benefit wildlife by providing further habitat for birds, invertebrates, reptiles and common toad, as well as a foraging resource for bats and otters.

Key features of the attenuation basin/waterbody will include the following:

  • Banks: The likelihood of the waterbody holding water naturally will be increased through the provision of a sloping catchment area;
  • Water Retention: The waterbody will be rain-fed and will receive run-off when created. The design of the waterbody allows filtration prior to entering the ecology pond and with a small pipe outlet to the ecology pond, allows it to be shut off in the event of a pollution incident; and
  • Aquatic Planting: The attenuation basin will be suitable to support an area of marshy grassland and will be seeded with a mix of native species appropriate for this habitat type. The ecology pond will be planted with native aquatic plants.

Creation of a multi species culvert

A new culvert is required to take Bircham stream beneath the new road junction. The culvert has been designed as a multi-species culvert to enable wildlife to move along the water course during all levels of water flow, including when the watercourse is subjected to flood conditions.

Key features of the culvert will include the following:

  • Stream Restoration: The culvert will be constructed to take into account the natural characteristics of the stream and be of benefit to fish. The bed of the channel will replicate the existing stream with a low flow and large boulders positioned to provide varied substrate and natural meanders;
  • Otter Ledge: An otter ledge will be included within the culvert which will also allow species (otter / badger) to move through. This will be positioned at a height above the 1 in 100-year flood level. The inclusions of trash screens will allow badger, otter, or bats (greater horseshoe) to pass through the gaps, whilst maintaining health and safety and ensuring that a child cannot fit through; and
  • Landscaping: A planted corridor will be provided to help funnel species along the channel and away from the road. Species to be planted will include native species appropriate for wet ditches, including willow, reeds/sedges. Planting will take place in spring or autumn.

The culvert was completed in July 2020.

What is a Devon Hedge?

The Devon Hedge will be a 1.8m earth bank, faced off with shale stone and topped with shrubs. This will allow a hedge of up to 1.5m to form on top, helping to achieve our environmental mitigation targets. In some key places, the hedge will also be topped with a 1.2m fence to help minimise traffic noise for residents.