Work due to start on Leigham Roundabout

Work to widen and improve Leigham Roundabout and Forder Valley Road is due to start next month as a key part of the city’s Forder Valley transport improvement scheme gets underway.

The roundabout at the bottom of the valley is getting a complete redesign to smooth traffic flow and reduce congestion. Once the new Forder Valley Link Road is complete, it will form part of the new alternative link from the A38 to the north of the city.

After months of detailed planning and design work, it’s now green for go on the scheme which will be delivered by Balfour Beatty, who are the main contractors on the Forder Valley Link Road project.

What’s coming?  

  • Extra road space and better traffic flow
  • Upgraded and extended merge off the roundabout heading north onto Forder Valley Road
  • An extra lane on the southbound approach to the roundabout
  • Wider off-road walking and cycling space leading off the roundabout up Forder Valley
  • Subway under Forder Valley Road extended and improved.

A decision is being signed today confirming the contract on the Forder Valley Interchange scheme - as it is more formally known as - and the final cost of the scheme, which is £10.54 million.  There has been a slight increase due to unfavourable ground conditions detected following surveys as part of the detailed design stage, as well as the impact of Covid-19. The surveys revealed that part of the land earmarked for construction was used for dumping material from bomb damaged properties following the end of WWII.

The scheme is expected to start next month and be completed by spring 2022. The programme is being planned so that the new area of road space on Forder Valley Road is constructed off-line first. The extra space can then be used to move traffic around, avoiding the need for extensive traffic management measures and minimising disruption to the travelling public.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Transport and Planning said:  “Anyone who uses this roundabout knows it can get seriously snarled up at peak times. We’re creating an impressive new road link at the top of the valley so we also need to look at the roundabout at the bottom. It currently causes aggravation - not just for commuters but for the locals living in Delamere Road trying to get out. This scheme aims to sort those niggles out.

“Much of the build will be taking place off the roundabout and more disruptive works will be done off peak or overnight as far as we can.”

Landscaping for the scheme will see improved planting that will better blend the verges of the highway into meadow grasslands, then into tree and shrub planting at the woodland edge before merging with the existing mature woodlands of the Forder Valley.

A more diverse range of grasses and wildflower species for the meadows will provide habitats for insects and invertebrates and the woodland edge will be planted with native species of tree and shrubs, providing food and shelter for the local wildlife.

The scheme received a £5 million contribution from the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund and £3.83 million from the Community Infrastructure Levy. A further £1.59 million from the Integrated Transport Block and £116,000 revenue to capital contribution will now be invested into this major scheme to allow construction to be delivered.

Further details will be released shortly about the construction phasing and associated traffic management.  For more information visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/fordervalleyinterchange

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