Work has been continuing today on completing the planing on the North cantilever. This remains on track to be finished by the end of the day. Work has also continued on the South cantilever where the contractor has started the next stages of the steel deck preparation.
Additionally a specialist subcontractor has been carrying out inspections and preparatory work in advance of the replacement of the expansion joints on the North and South cantilevers at the Saltash tower.
With schools and colleges returning today, there was a slight increase in the amount of traffic on the bridge between 7.30 and 8.15 am this morning, although overall traffic levels were lower than on the previous two Mondays at the same time
Control room staff have been monitoring traffic flows carefully throughout the day and adjusting lane priorities to manage any build up of traffic. As explained in yesterday’s update changing the direction of a lane can take some time as the traffic needs to be cleared from the lane first so thank you for your patience while this is done.
Some people have continued to ask why the works cannot be carried out at night, or, if that is not possible, why they cannot continue during daylight hours.
As explained previously we need to consider the impact of the works on the people who live close to the bridge.
Some of the equipment being used by the contractor is very noisy and using it late into the evening or overnight would cause a significant disturbance to local residents. Noise has a much bigger impact in the evenings and at night, with sound often carrying over a much long distance than during the day. This means that working at night would affect far more people than those living immediately adjacent to the bridge.
The core working hours agreed with the contractor are between 7.30 am and 7pm. We understand why some travellers might prefer longer working hours if that led to the scheme being completed more quickly, but we need to consider the safety of the workforce as well as the impact on nearby residents.
Thank you to everyone who is using the free shuttle service which is being provided to transport pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters across the bridge while the South cantilever is closed.
The scheduled bus service, which is being provided in partnership with Plymouth Citybus and Roselyn Coaches, is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here is a copy of the timetable .
Both single and double decker buses are being used, enabling cyclists to remain with their bikes during the journey across the bridge.
Buses are running every 15 minutes between 6 am and 9pm, and every 30 mins in the evenings and overnight between the Saltash and Plymouth sides of the crossing.
Details of the latest service information is being published on the Plymouth Citybus website – www.plymouthcitybus.co.uk – with updates on their social media channels.
The minibus and trailer service is also running seven days a week, between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm. This is operating as an ‘on-demand’ service, enabling customers to contact the minibus drivers via call-points located at both Pemros Road and North Road. The minibuses are equipped with cycle and mobility scooter (up to Class 3) trailers.
Covid-19 social distancing requirements are in place in both mini-bus and Plymouth Citybus and Roselyn Coach services, and passengers are required to wear face coverings in line with Government guidance.
As well as transporting pedestrians safely across the bridge, the free service avoids the need for cyclists to cycle through the heavy traffic on the bridge during morning and evening commutes.
While cyclists are legally permitted to use the bridge traffic lanes, the opening of the south cantilever nearly twenty years ago was intended to provide them with a safer alternative for crossing the bridge. In offering these services we are doing our best to replicate the improved safety provided by the south cantilever and so, for this reason, we would strongly encourage cyclists to use this option during these works.
We will be reviewing both services throughout the programme of works and will make adjustments if necessary.