Mutley Plain provides one of the key points of access to the centre of Plymouth. In its present state it is not cycle safe or cycle friendly. There is a lack of bus/cycle lanes and traffic lights are not synchronised. Delivery vans are a major cause of traffic changing lanes unexpectedly.
Potential ideas for Short Term improvements
- Right turn traffic lights travelling South along Mutley Plain cannot be seen by cyclists as they approach nor by cars waiting to turn right. Provision of lights at a height of about 2 metres would improve safety.
- One lane in each direction could become bus/cycle lane.
- reduce the speed limit
- limit use of parking bays
- Integrating phasing between pelican crossings and other traffic lights
- Use the lanes behind the Plain for deliveries or cycling
- Manage roadwork completion more effectively
- A cycle lane on Mannamead Road Northbound (previously delayed for street light replacement)
Potential ideas for Long Term improvements
The pavement along one side of Mutley plain is much wider than required for pedestrians. This could be turned into a cycle lane. The toilets at the Northern end would need to be demolished but most residents would welcome this. Toilets could be provided by a business which would receive something in return such as reduced business rates.
- The five-way junction at the southern end of Mutley Plain is very awkward for both drivers and cyclists when going northwards from either Alexandra Road or Greenbank Road.
- The northern corridor into the city from Derriford down Tavistock Road then Mannamead road and through Mutley Plain is key for a number of reasons:
1. This is a major route into the city which is ideal for commuting by bicycle. Currently the fragmented nature of the cycle pathways is a major impediment.
2. Mutley Plain is a major student hub which is the perfect environment to promote a cycling culture. The businesses along Mutley would benefit from a dedicated cycling route into the city (and to the University) as American experience has shown (http://www.advocacyadvance.org/site_images/content/Final_Econ_Update(small).pdf). This may prove to be the renaissance of the Mutley Plain and North Hill corridor to the University as a commercial and leisure area with businesses centered around cycling lifestyle, particularly with the high density of young people who are likely to embrace this environment.
3. This transformation would obviously require investment, but Mutley is perfect for development given that it is extremely wide, so the development of a proper cycle lane (not a painted strip but a dedicated lane) through Mutley and down North Hill to the University and City Centre seems to me to be a no-brainer given the density of students. The issue of the toilets is a non-issue really – get rid of them.
4. All this means bravery of vision not necessarily vast amounts of cash – if we want to transform Plymouth into the Copenhagen of England then all it requires is for the local people and politicians to let it be so.