Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 8 December 2016


Traffic congestion in Plympton has become unacceptable. It can now take 20-30 minutes to get from St. Mary's Bridge roundabout to Marsh Mills. Whether this is a result of displacement caused by the endlessly ongoing Deep Lane reconfiguration, the recent opening of Lidl's on Plymouth Road, the onset of Christmas shopping or a combination of all three, I know not, but we cannot go on like this. I also have suspicions that the new lights at the junction between Plymouth Road and Cott Hill have not been properly calibrated post-Lidl and this appears to be contributing to the snarl up.

I am writing to the Chief executive of Plymouth City Council, raising my concerns and asking for action. I will be taking this forward with Plympton's hardworking councillors. What can be done? It would be unrealistic for a definitive strategic overview to be made until the Deep Lane improvements have been put in place early next year and are operating smoothly, but after that a through appraisal of traffic issues in Plympton needs to be undertaken. Coming through St. Mary's bridge has been painfully slow for some years at peak times, but now the pain has been spread further afield.

At the very least we should not grant planning permission for any further significant residential development until this problem has been thoroughly investigated and solutions found. Pressure on existing highways infrastructure can be a legitimate planning reason for refusal.

Traffic congestion is partly a reflection of prosperity and necessity. Despite an extensive bus network in Plymouth, many of us have chosen the car. Most young people are keen to get a car, or access to mum and dad's car as soon as they learn to drive. Driving brings independence and mobility which is critical for all ages. We have to suffer the consequences of these choices, but it is the task of the highways authority to minimise impact.

Many of these problems can be solved by technology and engineering. Most agree that the new junction at Stanborough Cross/Haye road is working well. It remains to be seen whether it can cope with the extra volume of traffic that Sherford will eventually produce. I understand that the developers are planning to complete the new road through the new town sooner rather than later so that the Deep Lane junction and A38 can take the strain, which is welcome.

We are entitled to expect a road system that flows well.

posted by Gary @ 09:27