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Major upgrade for busy North Hill junction

08 March 2023
Plan showing North Hill/North Road East junction upgrade

A junction on one of the key routes into and out of Plymouth’s city centre will soon be getting a major upgrade, including new signals, pedestrian crossings and footways.

The junction of North Hill, North Road East and Clifton Place is one of the busiest in the area but currently has just one pedestrian crossing and, for safety and traffic flow reasons, vehicles are not allowed to turn left from North Road East towards Mutley Plain.

As part of the upgrade, touch-button crossings will be installed on all four arms of the junction, improving safety for everyone walking along this busy route, including pupils at nearby schools.

The extra crossings will also mean the left-hand turn can be reopened, enabling drivers to access Mutley and Alexandra Road without having to go via Clifton Place, significantly reducing the number of vehicles using this narrow residential street.

New signals fitted with more intelligent ‘MOVA’ units will replace the ageing equipment currently in place. This smarter technology can monitor the number of vehicles approaching from further away and assess the impact that queues will have on the junction, meaning ‘green time’ can be adjusted in a more responsive way.

MOVA units also 'learn' regular traffic movements, which can be particularly useful in locations where traffic conditions vary considerably by time of day, day of week or even season. They can also communicate with MOVA units at other junctions along the same route.

Footways will also be improved – and widened where necessary to accommodate the new crossings and provide more walking and waiting space.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This is a key transport route into and out of the city centre but it is also a very busy walking route for residents living nearby, visitors to shops and businesses, bus and train passengers and students at the local schools and universities.

“These new crossing points will make it much safer and easier for pedestrians to travel through the area. The extra traffic control they will bring also means we can reopen the left-hand turn out of North Road East onto North Hill, which will not only be welcomed by drivers but also make Clifton Place safer and quieter for people living there.

“The signals currently in place are way past their design life and in need of replacement. This upgrade will improve the resilience of the network and technology like MOVA can help us make signals perform more efficiently – which means less congestion, fewer delays and reduced emissions.

“I’d like to thank everyone for bearing with us while we carry out these important works.”

The upgrade will get under way on Monday 13 March and is expected to be completed by the end of July. Works will include new ducting, footway reconstruction and lining on both sides of North Hill (between Bedford Terrace and Lawrence Road) and North Road East (between the North Hill car park entrance and North Hill).

Temporary three-way signals will be in use but only from 9.30am to 3.30pm and from 6.30pm to 11pm and they will be manually operated.

Please allow extra time for your journey.