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Morlaix Drive works in final stages

An image of Morlaix Drive
Finishing touches are being put to Morlaix Drive before it opens later this month

Improvement works to Morlaix Drive and Brest Road are set to complete later this month.

Morlaix Drive is a 300m stretch of carriageway that links Brest Road with Derriford Hospital. It is home to the Glenbourne Unit and Thornberry Centre, the ambulance station and has access into the hospital’s multi-storey car park.

The works have included widening Morlaix Drive, which was once single carriageway, so that traffic can travel easily in both directions without having to give way to oncoming vehicles.  The widening also means that buses can be routed along Morlaix Drive.   

Meanwhile, the Morlaix Drive/Brest Road junction has been adapted to incorporate new lights and the northbound Brest Road entry on to Derriford Roundabout will be for use by buses and emergency vehicles only. New pedestrian crossing facilities have also been installed as well as a shared use path on both Morlaix Drive and Brest Road, connecting to William Prance Road, for use by cyclists as well as pedestrians.

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 investment the Council has already made enlarging the nearby Derriford Hospital Interchange, widening the Marjon Link Road for two-way bus movements and constructing the newly opened Platinum Parkway.

The improvements form part of a wider package of measures that are key to unlocking growth in the north of Plymouth, where over 4,000 new homes are planned over the next 15 years.

Morlaix Drive will become a key strategic route for buses, allowing direct access to the hospital via Platinum Parkway for new bus services from the east of the city, including the future park and ride site at Deep Lane. Prior to the improvements, traffic often queued along Brest Road at busy times of the day and the opening of Platinum Parkway 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.

With the bulk of the heavy lifting now complete, it is hoped that bar any unforeseen circumstances the current closures on Brest Road northbound and on Morlaix Drive itself should reopen by the end of March.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "I'm really pleased that we'll be in a position to open Morlaix Drive and Brest Road in the next few weeks.

“It may only be a small piece of road but what we have done is of the utmost strategic importance for this part of Plymouth.

"I'd like to say a special thank you to the visitors and staff at the hospital for bearing with us while we completed these works.

"We know it's not been easy but I'm confident that your reward will be a much easier journey than you had before."

The Morlaix Drive scheme has so far been funded using £3.3m of funding awarded by the Department for Transport through the National Productivity Investment Fund with the Council contributing around £1.75m.

However, to see it over the line, a further £480,000 is now being added to account for construction issues unforeseen at the design stage and the cost inflation of materials since the scheme began.

More details on the scheme can be found at