Forder Valley Link Road, Plymouth

With nature in mind, we’ve built a key 1km link road with a 140-metre bridge between the A38 and the north of the city to alleviate traffic congestion and support growth in the region.

Unlocking growth

Over the next 15 years, 4,300 new homes and a new district development of shops and community leisure and health facilities is planned in the north of Plymouth. Key to unlocking this was investment in major new highways infrastructure including the £52 million funding for the Forder Valley Link Road project provided by Plymouth City Council, the Department for Transport Growth Deal and National Highways.

Connecting communities

Working on behalf of Plymouth City Council, we've built a one-kilometre link between William Prance Road in Derriford and the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road junction. Running along a new 140-metre bridge that we constructed across Bircham Valley, with a larger, relocated signalised junction at the Forder Valley Road/Novorossiysk Road intersection, the road is a key link between the A38 and the north of the city.

£2.37 million

value engineering savings

£14.5 million

local spend


local people employed on the project

The project, which was delivered via the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework, helps to alleviate traffic on the A386 Tavistock Road and Manadon Roundabout, providing an alternative route to the north of the city and key city locations such as Derriford Hospital, the University of St Mark and St John and the Plymouth Science Park. The new link also improves bus reliability on services to and from the north of the city and offers new and improved pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Improvements have also been made at Forder Valley Roundabout to improve traffic flow and access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Our proven expertise delivers value

Drawing on our extensive experience of delivering complex highways infrastructure we were able to achieve approximately £2.37 million worth of value engineering cost savings, including:

  • Using 3D modelling to revise the earthworks design and strategy, resulting in 10,000m3 of top-soil being reused in landscape design to enhance biodiversity in the area and contributing to £1.375 million of the savings
  • Establishment of an on-site material testing lab with an integrated quality assurance solution to provide rapid classification of materials. This removed 9,247 lorry movements, resulting in a 3,223TCO2e reduction in carbon emissions – the equivalent of 717 people’s annual carbon emissions in the UK
  • A Novorossiyk Road plant crossing negating double handling of site excavated material when moving materials from one side of the road to the other
  • An alternative culvert alignment to enable flow of traffic through the works facilitated a single traffic switch that opened the route for a single phase. This safer approach reduced the construction period by 10 weeks, saved £600,000 and was much less disruptive

Collaborating for success

Utilities such as water, power and telecoms services needed to be diverted in preparation for our works commencing. The early engagement and collaboration that the SCAPE Civil Engineering framework facilitated, ensured that working alongside Plymouth City Council, South West Water, Western Power Distribution, Virgin Media, BT and Wales & West Utilities, were able to mitigate any potential issues whilst maintaining our schedule of works and project completion timescales.

Leaving a lasting, positive legacy

Essential to Plymouth City Council’s economic growth plan for the region and creating a fairer and greener Plymouth was ensuring that the Forder Valley Link Rd project left a lasting social and economic benefit to the community.

To achieve this, we worked closely with Plymouth City Council, the local community and Building Plymouth to create a bespoke social value plan focused on the following key themes of the Plymouth Charter:

  • Spending locally
  • Upskilling locally
  • Employing locally

As a result of the plan and our established approach to social value we have been able to:

  • Provide eight virtual work placements and participated in the Kickstart Prince’s Trust programme
  • Deliver job skills workshops and mentoring of long-term unemployed people age 50+
  • Work with Green Minds and Devon Wildlife Trust to provide volunteers to support with the planting of 14,500 trees across the city
  • Support the West Country River Trust with the creation of micro habitats
  • Spend 234 hours volunteering to create an outdoor space for a local primary school, create a natural style water channel culvert with otter walkways leading to an ecology pond as well as donating materials to a special education needs school
  • Create ‘dark corridors’ to provide a safe flight line and foraging for bats