Work to upgrade Moor Lane roundabout in Exeter, improving journeys and boosting economic growth, has been completed.
The £2.2 million scheme to improve the roundabout, near junction 29 of the M5, has added an extra lane from the direction of Sowton Industrial Estate.
The project has been funded by the Highways England Growth and Housing Designated Fund, the Department for Transport’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), and Devon County Council.
As part of the scheme, the roundabout at Emperor Way / Ambassador Drive has also been improved, widening Ambassador Drive to create a short two-lane southbound approach to the roundabout and two lanes merging southbound.
There have also been improvements to crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists on Ambassador Drive, and shared use paths have been widened, upgrading the connection to the E4 cycle route along Cumberland Way. Landscaping work will be carried out over the coming weeks.
The scheme was also combined with essential resurfacing of the roundabout by SWH Ltd, further minimising disruption to the public.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “These improvements were identified to help support the future economic growth of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. While the capacity upgrades should ease traffic flow, it will also improve journey times for public transport users at Honiton Road park and ride, and pedestrians and cyclists will also benefit from the improvements on Ambassador Drive. This is a busy junction into the city and thanks go to everyone involved in this project who helped to make working in lockdown possible, greatly reducing disruption for road users."
Councillor Marina Asvachin, County Councillor for Wonford and St Loyes, said: “The changes will help significantly improve access to thousands of jobs in the area. I am also pleased to see wildflowers included in the scheme that will encourage a wider range of insects and local wildlife and pedestrian and cycle improvements on Ambassador Drive will further improve cycle connectivity between the E4 cycle route and business at Sowton.”
The Moor Lane project complements the Tithe Barn improvement scheme, north of junction 29 of the M5. The scheme, completed in 2019, included a 60-metre span pedestrian and cycle bridge and link road and was funded with over £4 million from Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund.
Highways England Route Manager Andy Roberts said: “The completion of the Moor Lane scheme is a glowing example of our partnership working with Devon County Council – not only will it help to unlock plans for major housing growth, and generate jobs, but also benefit the local community by creating smoother and more reliable journeys.
“Our roads are vital for the country and its economic success; they connect businesses and communities and support employment and new homes. All of our Growth and Housing Funded improvements will ultimately ensure our roads continue to improve journeys and unlock the potential for new jobs and homes.”
Devon County Council has worked with contractor MacPlant to support socially distant work practices, enabling construction to continue safely through most of lockdown. This has enabled a significant part of the roadworks to be carried out when traffic flows, and therefore disruption, were reduced.