Views on walking and cycling upgrade between St Budeaux, dockyard and city centre

One of Plymouth’s key routes could be getting a new 6.5km walking and cycling upgrade to make it easier for people to go on foot or by bike as part of the city’s push to encourage greener, more sustainable travel.

Plymouth City Council has drawn up plans for two walking and cycling schemes which together will provide the new link between St Budeaux, Devonport Dockyard and the City Centre.

The plans are part of Plymouth’s Transforming Cities Fund programme which aims to invest in walking, cycling and public transport to make it quicker and easier for people to get around their city more sustainably – especially to and from their place of work or learning.

Transforming Cities schemes will offer convenient door to door connections between homes, workplaces, shopping and leisure destinations and are designed to make it more attractive for people to move away from reliance of the private car to active travel like walking and cycling.

Not only does it lead to less congestion, more people walking or cycling improves air quality, reduces noise on the roads, and encourages healthier lifestyles. It also saves money.

The St Budeaux to Dockyard half of the route proposes a shared use footway/cycleway that appeals to confident cyclists, whilst encouraging less experienced cyclists to get in the saddle. The Dockyard to City Centre half aims to continue the shared use path from the Dockyard to the residential and local shopping areas of Devonport, and on to a 20mph zone, with new crossings before reaching the West End of the City Centre.

The proposals include:

  • Widening footpaths to the maximum width possible for walking and cyclists to share comfortably
  • De-cluttering the shared use path 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
  • Measures to improved safety at junctions along the new route crosses where it 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 facilities

Changes to accommodate the shared use footpath/cyclepath are proposed mainly on the outbound side of the road and are designed to have minimal effect on parking and bus journey times, and to ensure the roads continue to function for the needs of all users. If all goes according to plan, work would start next March and be completed in 2023.

Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “Levels of cycling have almost doubled in Plymouth in the last 10 years – which is brilliant news. But we need to keep making walking and cycling an attractive option.

"We also want people to feel safer if they are cycling in our city and shared paths on such a key route are a pragmatic and sensible way of creating routes for cyclists without affecting the bus routes – which are also key to sustainable travel. Walking and cycling is good for our physical and mental health and for the environment. If we are serious about tackling climate change we need to do our bit to reduce our impact on the planet. These schemes are about helping to make those changes.

 “The schemes will include widened pavements and drop kerbs – which is also good news for people with wheelchairs and prams and new crossings to make it easier to cross the road. We think we have the balance right but we want to know what you think.”

People will be able to view and comment on the plans online at www.plymouth.gov.uk/stbudeauxtodockyard and www.plymouth.gov.uk/dockyardtocitycentre from 28 October 2021.

The plans will also be available in St Budeaux Library, Devonport Library and Central Library. Feedback can be provided by filling in the questionnaire at the libraries or by email to transportprojects@plymouth.gov.uk, by writing to Strategic Transport Team, Plymouth City Council, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth PL1 3BJ (with reference to TCF201/146).