Roads campaigners and local stakeholders will present a united front in pressing for a new road bypassing Crowlas to be included in the next Government programme of major roads’ projects.
West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas is backing efforts spearheaded by the A30 Crowlas Bypass Now group to ensure that a new bypass, from St Erth to the Newtown roundabout, is included in the Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) running from 2020 to 2025.
At a meeting last week organised by Mr Thomas, Joe Poynton, from Crowlas Bypass Now, said that “all the ducks are more or less in line” in terms of the project getting concerted support from the local community and stakeholders.
A survey in Ludgvan parish has indicated overwhelming support for such a scheme and, as well as Mr Thomas, there is also support from local Cornwall Councillors, parish councils and Penzance Town Council.
In addition, Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Transport, was able to confirm that improvement to the A30 west of Camborne was a key priority for the council.
“We have three clear priorities,” he told the meeting.
“Our most pressing priority is the A30 dualling work from Chiverton to Carland Cross but behind that, of equal importance to Cornwall Council are the upgrades of the A30 west of Camborne and the A38 in South East Cornwall.”
Mr Thomas said he was delighted that the project enjoyed such widespread support.
“Most importantly, a new road would make a massive difference to those people who live in Crowlas and the other communities along that stretch of the A30 whose lives are blighted on a daily basis because of the enormous amount of traffic passing by their window,” he said.
“However there are also huge economic benefits for the whole of West Cornwall if we can achieve a road link with the rest of the country which is fit for the 21st century.
“The Crowlas Bypass Now group has done a great job so far in ensuring that the project is considered for RIS2 funding but it is up against many other, competing projects across the country and it is wonderful that everyone seems to be pulling in the right direction.”
There was however frustration at the meeting that planned road safety improvements works for the existing road along the St Erth to Newtown roundabout are not yet underway.
Work including traffic signalling at the Rospeath junction in Crowlas and improved signage and new speed limits along the road has been agreed but the meeting heard that changes to the structure of Highways England and in the way that roads projects are processed meant that this work was unlikely to take place until 2020-2021.
Mr Thomas said he would press senior Highways England officials to speed up the assessment work when meeting them this week.
If these efforts proved unproductive, Mr Thomas said he would ask Highways England to consider handing over the project to Cornwall Council. Council officers estimated they could get the work done 12 months earlier than Highways England with whom they have a history of working in partnership.