The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin has been pressed for Government funding to try and solve repeated gridlock on the the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton.
Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton, Chris Pomfret, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, and Julian German, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for economy and culture, have met with the minister to state their case.
The single carriageway section is already one of the most congested stretches of road in Cornwall, costing Cornwall’s economy "around £2.9m a year", and there are concerns that the traffic queues could become even worse when the Temple to Higher Carblake dualling has been completed.
The Highways Agency have agreed to fully fund a Strategic Outline Business Case for improving the 12.51km section, which will look at the potential costs and benefits of any scheme.
This is due to be completed by the middle of September to enable the Minister to consider whether improvements to this section should be included in the Government’s Autumn budget statement.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I have heard first-hand about the impact that congestion on the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton is having on the economic development of the region. The Department for Transport will continue to work closely with the Highways Agency, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Council to look at what can be done to improve the single carriageway for road users. That work will be vital in making future investment decisions in the region.”
“I have for some years been making the case for the A30 to be dualled between Carland Cross and Chiverton and have been pleased to work with Cornwall Council to secure today’s good news” said MP Sarah Newton.
“The Highways Agency study into improving the road is very welcome at no cost to Cornwall Council and represents a first step towards securing the project.“ “For decades this dualling has been talked about and I am pleased to finally see some action. This will, however, be a difficult project to deliver and I want to ensure that all landowners along the road and constituents are fully and properly consulted.“ Chris Pomfret, chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our recent Growth Deal with the Government has secured millions of pounds of infrastructure investment to unblock traffic pinchpoints and sites for development across Cornwall, but this stretch of the A30 remains a notorious bottleneck that businesses regularly highlight as a major issue. With the Highways Agency study underway we will leave the Secretary of State in no doubt about the importance of this scheme going ahead.”
“Traffic congestion and unreliable journey times can be a major barrier to business growth and inward investment” said Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture. “Work is progressing well to dual the stretch of the A30 at Temple and we want to continue to work in partnership with the Department of Transport and the Highways Agency to maintain this momentum and bring forward further improvements for the A30.” “We know that Cornwall is a great place to do business and I am pleased that the Highways Agency is investigating the feasibility of this much needed scheme. “This is a positive first step but we know there is a lot more work to do. We look forward to working with the Government and the local community to take this project forward”.