A 17-month road closure planned for Plymouth's Forder Valley while a link road is built has been reduced to minimise disruption for those who use it.

Originally Plymouth City Council announced the western section of the road - between Novorossiysk Road and Forst Austin Avenue - would be closed for 17 months whilst construction work is carried out.

In a U-turn the council revealed on Monday 2 March that the uphill side of the road will now be reopened to cars between four and six months earlier.

  • What work is being done?

Work started on the three-year project to build the £49million 1-kilometre link road in May 2019 - with the hope of easing traffic and providing both jobs and houses to the north of the city.

When completed it's set to include a new bridge over the Bircham Valley linking to William Prance Road at Derriford.

A key feature of the construction work being carried out is raising the Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road junction - which is scheduled to begin in the summer this year.

The plans caused controversy when it was revealed hundreds of trees would be cut down. Credit: Plymouth City Council

The multi-million pound road - expected to cost around £49m - caused controversy amongst environmental campaigners when it was discovered hundreds of trees needed to be cut down to allow for the route.

In response, Plymouth City Council said it will plant around 14,500 trees, and invest a further £1.3million in off-site works to improve wildlife habitats.

People also raised concerns about congestion levels while the work is taking place.

In a statement, Councillor Mark Coker said:

We have to close this section of Forder Valley Road because we are basically rebuilding it, along with a brand new junction, five metres higher. We also need to reroute all the utility channels and cabling that run along it. However, I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree with subcontractors a way to reduce the closure on one side by up to six months. This is a massive achievement with such a huge and complex project and I know it will be welcome news to residents and businesses.

Cllr Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure

Cllr Coker continued: "Keeping traffic flowing while this mammoth scheme progresses is a huge challenge but we do listen and, where we can, we do our utmost to minimise the impact."

Forder Valley Road (West) is still expected to close at the start of the summer for work there to begin.

The uphill side will reopen up to six months earlier, but the downhill side will remain closed for the full 17 months.