Press release

£1.1 million investment in new technology at the A38 Saltash Tunnel

Highways England will continue its roads investment in Cornwall next month with a £1.1 million new technology scheme at the A38 Saltash Tunnel.

This news article was withdrawn on

This document is no longer current


The Saltash Tunnel is a unique tidal flow tunnel, which adjoins the Tamar Bridge using advanced control systems to manage traffic travelling in and out of Cornwall and Devon on the A38.

Work starts on 3 July and will involve the installation of cutting edge CCTV and emergency public address systems which ensures drivers’ safety in the tunnel, and along the A38 from St Budeaux to Carkeel Roundabout.

The CCTV will allow operators to monitor traffic flows and adjust the configurations of lanes within the tunnel and over the Tamar Bridge crossing to help ensure journey reliability for drivers.

The emergency public address system will allow operators to convey both pre-recorded and live messages to tunnel users in emergency situations as required.

Highways England Area Manager, Julian Strong, said:

The safety of our customers and workforce is always our priority and that is why we are investing in the latest technology to enhance the system we already have in place in and around the tunnel.

Extensive planning has been undertaken to ensure the works will cause the least possible disruption and that is why they are being undertaken overnight from Sunday to Thursday when the A38 is at its quietest.

With only a small addition to journey times we expect A38 drivers to experience little disruption. We have also planned these works to ensure there is no traffic management in place during the day or at any time over the busy summer weekends.

The new equipment, the same used by Transport for London on the capital’s roads, replaces a system which has been in use for 12 years.

Nineteen new digital CCTV cameras with improved low light capability will be installed as well as ten speakers specially designed to give clarity to messages inside tunnels.

Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry General Manager, David List, said:

We welcome these significant improvements in and around the Saltash Tunnel that will enhance the safety and resilience of the tidal flow traffic management system that we operate on the Tamar Bridge and in the tunnel with our partner, Highways England.

Scheduled over eight weeks, the tunnel work will involve full overnight closures, 8pm to 6am, with diversion routes in place eastbound via the South Pill junction and westbound via the B3271 to the A38 at Carkeel, until 25 August.

The CCTV work at Carkeel and St Budeaux will continue until 15 September, but no closures or diversion routes will be needed for this part of the scheme.

No works will be carried out overnight on Tuesday, 16 August, and Wednesday, 17 August ,when the British Firework Championships are held in Plymouth, attracting a large number of visitors to the city.

More information will be available from the Highways England website and via the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 23 June 2016