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Morlaix Drive Access Improvements

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About the scheme

Morlaix Drive, on the west side of the hospital, is currently a narrow, 300m stretch of single carriageway that links Brest Road with the hospital itself. It is home to the Glenbourne Unit, the ambulance station, the Thornberry Centre and has an access into the multi-storey car park. It is, in parts, too narrow for vehicles to travel along in both directions.

Morlaix Drive Scheme Details

Improvements include widening the road to allow for a constant flow of two-way traffic, including buses, and an upgrade of the existing narrow footway to a shared pedestrian and cycle path. The junction of Morlaix Drive with Brest Road will operate under new traffic lights and the northbound Brest Road entry on to Derriford Roundabout will be for buses, cyclists and emergency vehicles only. Pedestrian crossing facilities will also be upgraded as part of the project. 

Traffic wanting to get to Derriford Roundabout from Morlaix Drive will be able to do so via William Prance Road, which was recently upgraded as part of the Derriford Transport Scheme. Staff and visitors to the hospital will still be able to use Morlaix Drive and the southbound exit from Derriford roundabout onto Brest Road will remain open to all vehicles.

The main purpose of the scheme is to provide better bus access to Derriford Hospital and improve reliability for bus services in the north of the city, complementing the nearby Derriford Hospital Interchange as well as the Marjon Link Road. At present Morlaix Drive is, in parts, too narrow for vehicles to travel along in both directions. 

Morlaix Drive is one of a number of infrastructure improvements needed to allow sustainable growth in the north of the city to happen. It will become a key strategic route for buses, allowing direct access to the hospital via the new Forder Valley Link Road for future bus services from the east of the city.

At the moment, traffic often queues along Brest Road at busy times of the day and the opening of the Forder Valley Link Road means that traffic movements and the routing of buses are set to change in the area. The new traffic signals on Brest Road and restricting the northbound entry to Derriford Roundabout from Brest Road will help reduce delays to buses and local traffic accessing the hospital and other businesses in the area.

How much will it cost and who is paying for it?

The Morlaix Drive scheme is currently estimated to cost approximately £5 million. A £3.3 million contribution from the Department for Transport has been secured through the National Productivity Investment Fund.  Plymouth City Council will provide the remainder of the funding. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust are providing the majority of the land required to deliver the project.

When is work happening?

Work began in January 2022 and is expect to complete in early 2023.

Phase 1 Traffic Management

From Monday 24 January the first phase of works will begin within the main Derriford Hospital site, at the junction immediately to the west of the patient drop off points and bus stops at the front of the hospital. These works to realign kerbs in order that buses will be able to access Morlaix Drive in the future will require four-way temporary traffic lights to be in place 24 hours a day for a period of approximately four weeks.

Morlaix Drive Traffic Management Phase 1Phase 2 Traffic Management

In order to carry out the improvements, Morlaix Drive will be closed to hospital inbound traffic from Thursday 24 February. It will however remain open to outbound traffic from the hospital.

In addition, Brest Road will be closed northbound for its entirety, all the way to Derriford roundabout. There will be no access for vehicles to Derriford roundabout from Morlaix Drive or Brest Road, although emergency vehicles only will still be allowed to turn right from Morlaix Drive. Diversions will be in place for traffic travelling to and from Brest Road, Morlaix Drive and the hospital.

The closure of Morlaix Drive eastbound and Brest Road northbound will enable the teams to carry out most of the work required in the scheme and will be in place until December 2022, when the scheme is due to finish.

Morlaix Drive Traffic Management Phase 2

Information events

In July 2019 we held two information events for the public to come along to discuss the plans with the team and answer any questions they may have. These were held at the locations and times below, and you can also view the leaflet.




Thursday 11 JulyDerriford Hospital Main Entrance / Concourse3pm to 7pm
Saturday 13 JulyWindsor House10am to 2pm

A summary of the comments received can be found in the engagement report below.