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Step closer to improved walking and cycling on western corridor

A number of traffic orders detailing proposed changes as part of three schemes designed to make cycling, walking and public transport more attractive along the city’s western corridor are being published this week.

The schemes from the city centre to the Dockyard and St Budeaux Square which will see an array of improvements to encourage more residents and commuters to get greener on the go. Three of these improvements are the subject of traffic orders which enable the public to comment on the proposals.

The orders concern proposed changes to St Aubyn Road and Granby Way, including a ‘raised table’ on St Aubyn Road to bring the road up to footpath level, slowing vehicle speeds and improving the safety of those crossing.

At Granby Way, the proposal is to upgrade the current signals to a toucan crossing for both walking and cycling, part of the wider proposals for a shared use path. The scheme designs for Dockyard to Granby Green are nearly complete and the traffic regulation consultation will help inform those designs prior to any future construction.

Improvements planned for the 6.5km route include:

  • Widening footpaths for those walking and cycling to share comfortably
  • De-cluttering to minimise obstacles, with proposals to mitigate for any loss of street trees
  • Installing new crossings to make it easier and safer to cross the road at key points
  • Upgrading existing crossings
  • Improved safety measures at junctions where the new route crosses side roads
  • New signage throughout to guide people along the route
  • Reduced speed limits where on-road cycling is the only option available
  • New cycle parking.

Changes are also afoot around St Budeaux Square to improve the connections between sustainable transport options, by rail, bus and bike or on foot, and to make the area around the two railway stations at Victoria Road and Ferry Road more attractive.

The work aims to make the most of the square’s location on key bus routes as well as access to rail services, and to turn it into a sustainable transport interchange connecting commuters from Plymouth, South East Cornwall and West Devon with employment and healthcare opportunities in Derriford and the City Centre and Waterfront growth areas.

The work at St Budeaux Square involves:

  • Replacing ageing flagstones
  • Widening paths on the Wolseley Road overbridge and linking them to the safer pedestrian crossing at the junction on Wolseley Road
  • Extending the bus layby and moving bus stops to increase capacity for buses
  • More signage to help people navigate around the interchange, especially if they are using more than one sustainable transport mode (i.e. bus and rail or cycling and rail)
  • A transport information hub near bus stops and railway stations in addition to the current Real Time Passenger Information displays for passengers to plan their journeys
  • New planting, new trees and a contemporary seating area outside the shops and near the very well-used taxi rank
  • New cycle parking
  • Space for possible future e-bikes, part of the Mobility Hubs project

Two Traffic Regulation Order consultations which begin this week concern an extension to the 20mph zone of Barne Road over the Wolseley Road overbridge to make a more comfortable walking environment and to complement the proposed widened footpaths of the overbridge.

The second is to formalise a loading bay for the benefit of the shops and all road users. There is currently no loading bay on St Budeaux high street, meaning delivery vehicles often use bus lanes. The proposal will designate an area for loading and unloading delivery vehicles, helping shops and delivery drivers alike. 

Work on the three schemes is due to start this summer and will be carried out in phases to reduce the impact on the road network. The Council will be writing to residents along the route in the coming weeks with more details about traffic management. There will also be updates in the Council’s road report and the schemes’ webpages.

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “The schemes are part of the Transforming Cities Fund and are all about making it easier for people to travel to and from work or where they learn by options other than the private car.

 “St Budeaux Square has got all the ingredients of a transport hub, two stations and lots of buses, but we just need to bring all the options together and make it easier for people to plan their journeys, help get them out of their car and use public transport, walk or cycle. With these improvements the square will be an ideal location to hire e-bikes to help people get around more sustainably.”

In March 2020 the Council received £51.2m capital funding from the Transforming Cities Fund to work up schemes designed to make it more attractive for people to move away from reliance of the private car to active travel like walking and cycling.

These three schemes should not only lead to less congestion, they will improve air quality, reduce noise on the roads and encourages healthier lifestyles.

The schemes will see over £8.7 million being spent along the western corridor, which is a crucial route connecting the city centre with major work places such as the dockyard.

It will also open up new travel opportunities, reduce journey times by public transport and connect areas of deprivation with areas of employment. 

Check out and to comment on the proposals.