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Platinum Parkway opens at Forder Valley

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport and Johnny Mercer MP with the project team, visiting Platinum Parkway ahead of its opening

One of Plymouth’s biggest ever transport improvement schemes will have marked its most significant milestone by tomorrow morning (Tuesday 28 February), with the opening of the eagerly-awaited Platinum Parkway – the brand new link between the Forder Valley and Derriford.

The new road bridge connecting the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road junction and William Prance Road provides a much-needed alternative route between the A38 and the north of the city, avoiding the often heavily congested Manadon Roundabout and the A386 Tavistock Road through Crownhill.

As well as helping to reduce journey times to and from key destinations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park, it will help to improve bus service reliability on the A386 northern corridor and provide a direct link from the east, including the future park and ride site at Deep Lane.

It also offers new and improved routes for cyclists and pedestrians and is complemented by improvements to the nearby Forder Valley Interchange (Leigham Roundabout).

Named in recognition of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the new A3822 link forms 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.

Others include the already complete Derriford Transport Scheme, Derriford Hospital Interchange and Marjon Link Road, the soon to be completed widening of Morlaix Drive as well as the upcoming widening of the A386 between Woolwell and The George.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This vital new transport link has been many years in the planning and construction, not to mention a major engineering feat that has already won a top award at this year’s regional Concrete Society Awards, celebrating the best of construction in Devon and Cornwall.

“It will provide a huge boost to Plymouth and the north of the city, not only helping to reduce traffic congestion at Manadon and improve commuting time but also creating new avenues for economic, social and physical growth.

“I’d like to thank our transport, planning and highways teams, contractor Balfour Beatty and partners for their truly collaborative work in some exceptionally challenging circumstances – not least by adhering to strict health and safety procedures to continue construction through the pandemic.

“I also want to thank nearby residents and people travelling through the area for their continued patience and tolerance during the scheme’s construction.”

Teams will start uncovering signs and reconfiguring the traffic signals to include a phase for Platinum Parkway after the evening peak and into the night. The final traffic management will then be removed and the new route opened in time for tomorrow’s morning peak.

While those regularly travelling through the Forder Valley area will have been using the new junction since it opened in September, not many will have seen the new signalised junction at the top of Pintail Way, delivered by Persimmon Homes.

Here is some information to help in navigating the new route for the first time:

New route between Platinum Parkway (Forder Valley Link Road) and Derriford

Northbound (towards Derriford)

  • Platinum Parkway can be accessed from all approaches to the Forder Valley junction. There are two uphill lanes on the northbound side and these merge into one towards the top, where the bus lane starts
  • When Derriford-bound drivers reach the northern end, there is a left turn at the traffic lights onto William Prance Road (the right turn is for access to St Matthew’s Academy only)
  • Derriford-bound traffic will then reach the William Prance Road/Brest Road roundabout. They will be directed to take the first exit, taking them along William Prance Road to the A386 Tavistock Road
  • The second exit (Brest Road northbound) is closed until the Morlaix Drive scheme is completed next month, although access will only be as far as Morlaix Drive
  • There is a wide on-road cycle lane and shared off-road walking and cycling path heading up Platinum Parkway.

Southbound (towards Forder Valley)

  • Access to Platinum Parkway from Derriford will be via the A386 Tavistock Road, William Prance Road and Pintail Way
  • Drivers will need to take the third exit at the William Prance Road/Brest Road roundabout. This will take them to the new traffic signals at Pintail Way, where they will only be able to turn right towards Platinum Parkway
  • At the bottom end of Platinum Parkway, at the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road junction, drivers will not be able to turn right onto Forder Valley Road (West), towards Crownhill. Traffic heading from the north should continue to access Crownhill from the A386 Tavistock Road.
  • There is a shared walking and cycling path going down the link road, with segregated sections where the road is steepest (to separate pedestrians from faster-moving cycles), as well as an on-road cycle lane and priority on the approach to the Forder Valley junction.

St Matthew’s Academy

  • Access to St Matthews’s Academy will be via Platinum Parkway and Pintail Way from Forder Valley or along Brest Road (by The Ship) from the north. (Northbound access beyond The Ship on Brest Road will be for St Matthew’s Academy only)

There will be temporary yellow signs to help drivers navigate as they become familiar with this new route.

Platinum Parkway has a speed limit of 40mph, changing to 30mph as it reaches Pintail Way.

Drivers are reminded that Blunts Lane is closed at the southern end next to Poole Farm. During its temporary closure, local residents asked us to keep the restriction in place permanently and recent consultation with residents, businesses and allotment holders nearby showed overwhelming support for this option. A Traffic Regulation Order making the closure of Blunts Lane a permanent arrangement (while maintaining access to properties and land accessed directly from the lane) has been formally advertised.

The total value of the Forder Valley Link Road scheme is £52 million, including a £22.56 million contribution through the Department for Transport’s Growth Deal and £4.7 million from National Highways’ Growth and Housing Fund.

An official opening ceremony for Platinum Parkway will be held later this year.