Improvement works on Morlaix Drive are set to begin later this month.
The Morlaix Drive Access Improvement Scheme, originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed because of the pandemic, will get started from Monday 24 January and will finish by the end of the 2022.
Morlaix Drive, on the west side of the hospital, is currently a narrow, 300m stretch of single carriageway that links Brest Road with the hospital itself. It is home to the Glenbourne Unit, the ambulance station, the Thornberry Centre and has an access into the multi-storey car park. It is, in parts, too narrow for vehicles to travel along in both directions.
As part of the scheme, Morlaix Drive will be widened to allow for the flow of two-way traffic, including buses, and an upgrade of the existing narrow footway to a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
Not only will this make bus timetables to and from the Derriford area more reliable, it will also ease congestion in and around the hospital and in time, hopefully encourage more people to use the bus to access the hospital.
In addition, some changes will be made at Brest Road where, at the moment traffic often queues at busy times of the day, and the opening of the Forder Valley Link Road later this year means that traffic movements and the routing of buses are set to change in the area in the next few years.
To help with this, the junction of Morlaix Drive with Brest Road will operate under new traffic lights and the northbound Brest Road entry on to Derriford Roundabout will be for buses, cyclists and emergency vehicles only.
Pedestrian crossing facilities will be upgraded as part of the project and a new shared-use path will be installed on Brest Road connecting to William Prance Road
Once works are completed, traffic travelling to Derriford Roundabout from Morlaix Drive will be able to do so via William Prance Road, which was recently upgraded as part of the Derriford Transport Scheme. Staff and visitors to the hospital will still be able to use Morlaix Drive and the southbound exit from Derriford Roundabout onto Brest Road will remain open to all vehicles.
As with all transport schemes, there will be several different phases of traffic management and South West Highways will do all they can to keep things moving.
From Monday 24 January the first phase of works will begin within the main Derriford Hospital site, at the junction immediately to the west of the patient drop off points and bus stops at the front of the hospital.
These works to realign kerbs in order that buses will be able to access Morlaix Drive in the future will require four-way temporary traffic lights to be in place 24 hours a day for a period of approximately four weeks.
When this stage is complete, works will move to Morlaix Drive and Brest Road. At this point, Morlaix Drive will be open for outbound traffic only while Brest Road will be closed northbound for its entirety. Further details on this part of the scheme will be communicated nearer the time.
More information about the scheme can be found at Plymouth.gov.uk/morlaixdrive.