Overview – Why are these highways works needed?

The approved housing development at Inglewood requires highway improvement works along Brixham Road. These will enable access to the site and will improve traffic flow. These works are required and are part of the planning permission granted by the Secretary of State in January 2021 (Application Reference: P/2017/1133).

The works comprise:

  • Widening of the junction at Long Road;
  • Raising and widening Brixham Road to improve forward visibility and traffic flows;
  • A new site access roundabout;
  • Two new pedestrian crossings on Brixham Road to allow connectivity of the site and new primary school to the White Rock and Hookhills area;
  • The improvement of traffic flows through Windy Corner and;
  • Drainage connection works for the development via a Section 104 Agreement with South West Water.

The approved planning permission requires the completion of all the above highway works before the first occupation of any house. All pre commencement planning conditions have been discharged. The works are subject to a Section 278 Agreement, which is the agreement between the developer and Torbay Council Highways Authority to carry out work on the public highway. This defines the phasing, traffic management and detailed design of the works, all of which have been agreed with Torbay Council officers.

Persimmon Homes Cornwall and West Devon Ltd has worked for almost two years with Torbay Council officers to minimise the impact of the works to reduce the programme from that originally designed in the scheme approved by the Secretary of State.

The key changes that have been made to reduce the impact of the works are:

  1. To improve forward visibility, the lowering and widening of Brixham Road (1m lower and 1.3m wider) combined with its consequential service diversions and renewals has been changed to the raising and widening of the road (1m higher and 1.3m wider). This is quicker and more straightforward to build but still requires a road closure as the drainage and utility services run through the middle of this narrow road. This variation has been approved through a Section 73 permission by Torbay Council.
  2. Persimmon has agreed with the utility companies that, rather than divert the medium pressure gas main, 33 Kva electricity cables and mains water pipes that run down or next to the road that, they will provide concrete capping and rafts to these services to reduce the risk of programme delays and accelerate these works.
  3. Persimmon has agreed to purchase an easement through a field to the south of their site owned by a third party. This enables them to run the foul and surface water drainage in the fields rather than on the highway. This will reduce programme time working in the road.
  4. Persimmon has asked Torbay Council for permission to work longer hours on a Saturday (13 x Saturdays from 8am to 6pm rather than the permitted time of 8am to 1pm) and some evenings (10 evenings to 9pm). The contractor will also increase resources to accelerate the works and to minimise the road closure period. This needs to be balanced against causing disruption to the residents that live on Brixham Road.

Persimmon and Roadform confirm that a road closure is required for some of the works due to health and safety requirements so that their operatives can work without risk of injury from traffic. The closure is also required to allow them to;

  • build the road up by 1 meter, and widen it from 6m to 7.3m,
  • divert, disconnect and alter a significant number of services in the road,
  • install drainage at depth in the highway,
  • create new crossings and a roundabout.

Due to the key changes 1-4 above, the road closure period will be reduced from four to three months and will be from early January to the end of March 2023. The works will however continue to mid-May but the works in April and May will be under traffic management. The works are still proposed to be completed in three phases.

Phase 1 – (October 2022 to December 2022)Brixham Road off highway roundabout works.

To undertake the works safely and as quickly as possible, a road closure to traffic is required (3rd January to 30th March). The planned diversion will run along Goodrington Road and Dartmouth Road. Please note that Goodrington Road is wider (7.3m) than the existing narrow sections of Brixham Road (6m). The proposed diversion route is indicated on the plan below. 

Phase 2 – (January 2023 to May 2023)Brixham Road, new roundabout, southern crossing and S104 drainage works on highway.

Persimmon Homes have designed the works to minimise the programme, but to undertake the works in a safe manner as quickly as possible, a road closure to traffic is required with a diversion along Goodrington Road and Dartmouth Road. The closure is targeted to commence on the 3rd January 2023 and will be as indicated on the plan below. 

‘Residents Only’ access will be maintained at all times for those properties located within the road closure zone. This will be controlled under the temporary traffic management system.

An alternative HGV diversion route is being considered by the Highways Officers to direct HGV’s along the A3022 to Paignton and then along the A379 as the plan below.

The proposed road works will continue until 12th May however the road will be re-opened at the end of March. No works will be undertaken for two weeks during the Easter holidays from the evening of 30th March to the evening of the 16th April 2023. Following that date, the remaining works will be undertaken with traffic management. Resident access, post, deliveries and refuse access will always be maintained through this programme of work.

Roadform will contact all Brixham Road residents prior to commencement of this phase to discuss works being carried out, access arrangements and understand any specific needs or issues they may have.

Phase 3 – (May 2023 to November 2023)Long Road and Windy Corner works.

After completion of the Brixham Road works, the Long Road and Windy Corner junctions will be improved from mid-May until the summer moratorium and then from September until completion. At all times traffic will be able to flow through these junctions under traffic management.

 

Road Diversion Impact
The proposed road diversion along Goodrington Road and Dartmouth Road adds 0.8 miles to the route of travel between the Long Road and Windy Corner Junctions. This route will be signed but early warning notices will be in place from Newton Abbott suggesting alternative routes.

Persimmon has appointed a Highways Engineer to assess and model the relevant data to confirm the impact of using the diversion route. The engineer has confirmed that the existing route from Long Road to Windy Corner is 1.1 miles. Due to its narrow elements and the tail backs at the traffic light junctions at each end, peak traffic time-delays can be experienced.
In normal traffic conditions, the diversion route will add 3 minutes to a journey time. At peak times the Engineer confirmed that based on the information available, an 8 to 10 minute delay may be experienced (i.e. 5 to 7 minutes longer than driving the route at normal times) when the proposed traffic light junction is installed at the Goodrington Road / Dartmouth Road junction.

Persimmon will work with Torbay Highways department to manage the flow of traffic. The Goodrington Road/ Dartmouth Road junction will be manned 8am – 6pm for the first 3 weeks as a minimum. This will enable the operatives to adapt these lights to better ease the flow of traffic. The junction will also be manned at February half term to adjust the flow to meet the differing traffic demands.

Double yellow lines will be installed from the Dartmouth Road junction, along Goodrington Road to Grange Road to avoid any delays from parked cars in this area. If HGVs cause bottlenecks, the junction operatives will utilise Stop / Go signs to manage traffic flow.

Windy Corner/ Brixham Road junction will remain closed during the road closure to all vehicles (other than emergency vehicles) to speed up traffic flows. The traffic lights at this junction will be turned off and temporary lights installed which will remain on green to enable the traffic to continually flow unless triggered by pedestrians crossing.

The contractor will also regularly monitor the diversion route during the day to assess the impact on access to and from side roads and properties fronting Dartmouth and Goodrington Roads. This will inform the impact of the diversion and the contractor will amend the junction controls appropriately. The lights at Windy Corner and Long Road can also be adjusted to ease traffic flows. The traffic solution will not be perfect at the start of works but, the iterative process of re-sequencing and re-phasing of the temporary lights will improve and manage traffic flows to reduce the impact on journey times.

 

Traffic Management Post Road Diversion
The diversion route will stop at the end of March 2023. After that date, traffic management will be required to complete the works. This will cause delays on Brixham Road but Persimmon will review the impact and timing of the works with the Highways Department to minimise disruption.

No traffic management will be on the highway for the early May Bank Holiday period to ensure full traffic flows are available on Brixham Road.

 

Emergency Vehicle Routes
Discussions are ongoing with the emergency services about access and in the event of an accident on Dartmouth Road. These discussions include providing them with alternative diversion routes during Roadforms working hours. These are indicated in purple, blue or green on the plan below.

This route can be offered for the duration of the works following the relocation of the highway drainage (225m to the south of the development) from the highway into the adjacent field. Please note this is subject to SWW approvals which have been received in principle.

In the event of an accident / closure on Dartmouth Road, (with permission of the Police and Highways Authority) this route can also be used as an alternative traffic route. This will be managed by the relevant Authority depending upon the nature of the incident.

 

Overview and Audit
Persimmon has committed significant resources to reduce the duration and impact of the road closure. They will continue this through the works programme to endeavour to find ways to further improve matters.

Torbay Council has instructed an independent audit by a Highways Consultant to assess if a road closure is required and if alternative phasing or methods of work can be adopted. This is due to be published at the end of November. Following publication, Persimmon would be happy to meet the Engineer and the Council to consider any recommendations that may reduce the impact of the works.

Persimmon, their contractor (Roadform) and representatives have held meetings with the Emergency Services, local Councillors, politicians and key local interest groups to explain the plans and solutions. They will continue to do so in advance of the works and liaise regularly during the works. This will enable a full understanding of arising issues and will inform an appropriate and relevant response. Persimmon is also working with the contractor to accelerate their works and reduce the road closure period.

Persimmon is aware that a number of other local highway projects have overrun. Due to Torbay Council’s moratoriums on Highways works, the timing of the works for this project is timetabled during the wettest and coldest period of the year. A significant proportion of the works are weather dependent but, by working longer hours, working with the utilities to sequence and phase their works and by changing the designs to be the fastest scope of works possible, Persimmon will endeavor to minimise disruption.

 

Contact
Torbay Council is keen to understand the impact of the works and issues arising from them and ensure that all comments are heard. The recent consultation by Torbay Council to understand the impact of the works and issues arising from them has now closed. All comments have been fed back and are being considered.

Persimmon has agreed that Torbay Council will be the primary point of contact for all communications.

Please email; engagement@torbay.gov.uk

If there are any specific queries or health and safety communications associated with the ongoing works please email;
Amie Harris aharris@roadformcivilengineering.co.uk

A further newsletter will be issued in December.