Three accidents in as many days along a short stretch of the A30 at Crowlas have highlighted why West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has pressed Highways England and Government Ministers to make road safety improvements in the area an urgent priority.
Mr Thomas says that the accidents - a three-car collision at Crowlas crossroads on the morning of Tuesday, January 3, a two-car pile-up the following day at the Ludgvan Lease junction at 5.45pm and an incident when a dog was involved in a collision with a bus at the same spot 24 hours later – show why it is unacceptable to put off carrying out the necessary safety work any longer.
A study looking at what could be done to make the A30 crossroads in the village safer took place a few months ago and it was expected that work on traffic calming measures would start some time this year.
However, after pressing Highways England, the agency responsible for the country’s major trunk roads, for further details on exactly when the scheme would get underway, Mr Thomas was told that work was unlikely to take place before 2020-21.
“This delay is just not good enough – three accidents in three days at what is a quiet time of the year show why these relatively inexpensive safety measures should be put in place straightaway,” he said.
“A four-year wait from now (in addition to the many years of past campaigning) to implement a relatively straightforward scheme is a real kick in the teeth for the villagers.
“Crowlas remains the only village along the entire length of the A30 which is not bypassed while the school is popular and has grown significantly. Crossing the road to reach it is hazardous in the extreme.”
After pressing for action, Mr Thomas recently received a response from Transport Minister John Hayes, who said he was aware of the “frustration” felt by road safety campaigners.
“A bid for funding will be made to design and deliver the first phase of safety measures in Crowlas,” said Mr Hayes.
“I understand the frustration that apparent delays in implementation cause for local communities. However it is necessary for a robust case to be developed to support funding bids to ensure that Highways England’s funds are prioritised on those schemes nationally which will deliver the greatest benefit to road users and adjacent communities.”
Crowlas is currently the busiest village in Cornwall in terms of traffic flow with an average of 23,000 vehicles travel through the village every day, rising to 28,000 in the peak season, when there are routinely long tailbacks in both direction.