Improvements to a roundabout on south east Cornwall’s busiest route have finally been completed, improving the flow of traffic for the 40,000 vehicles driving through the junction every day.
Motorists using the A38 at Carkeel roundabout near Saltash will have noticed that the traffic cones have been removed and all evidence of construction activity gone, heralding the end of the £6m project almost six months ahead of schedule.
With around ten million vehicles each year passing through the junction, drivers using Carkeel roundabout regularly experienced delays. To combat the issue and cater for future growth planned for Saltash and Plymouth to 2030, Cornwall Council and contractors Cormac have built a larger roundabout with traffic signals, and made the approach and exit lanes bigger to increase capacity.
Engineers will continue to monitor the traffic signals over the next few months to ensure the phasing of the signals matches the demands at each arm of the roundabout.
“Traffic signals on busy roundabouts such as this one actually help to keep traffic moving and we’ve seen it work in other locations,” said Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Transport. “Rebuilding a roundabout at the centre of a busy junction is not an easy task and Council officers and Cormac’s engineers have done a fantastic job keeping lanes open at peak times and completing the project early.
“I would also like to thank local residents and businesses, as well as motorists for their patience while these works have taken place. The long term improvements will warrant the short term inconvenience.”
James Hodge, Project Manager for CORMAC, said: “Given the volume of traffic and the reliance commuters and businesses have on this route, careful planning was required to make sure we minimised delays.
“We carried out as much of the construction work as possible at night to reduce the impact at peak times, and help keep traffic flowing despite the scale of the works being undertaken and engineering challenges involved.”
The project is mainly funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, which is investing £70m through the Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) ‘Growth Deal’ programme to improve infrastructure and grow the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Minister for Local Growth Jake Berry MP said: “This is a great example of a Local Enterprise Partnership using Government’s Growth Deal funding for a very worthwhile project to help local people and businesses at a vital access point for the Duchy.”
Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP said: “This is another example of LEP investment being used to support economic growth by removing a key pinch point entering Cornwall and catering for planned housing growth in the immediate area. The fact it has been completed six months ahead of schedule is a great achievement.”
This is the second phase of improvement work at the junction – building on the Highways England scheme to construct a pedestrian bridge over the A38 and adding an extra lane on the westbound approach to the roundabout.