Highways England is continuing its drive to improve the lives of communities across the country, announcing a multi-million pound boost for cycling, heritage and wildlife projects along the A30 in Cornwall.
Highways England, the company responsible for managing and maintaining England’s major A roads and motorways, is pumping £27 million into Cornwall for a wide range of initiatives including a variety of new cycle paths, habitat and heritage projects.
£2 million from Cornwall Council will be added to the £17 million being invested from Highways England’s Cycling, Safety and Integration Designated Fund towards a comprehensive, high-quality off-road walking and cycling.
A further £10 million from Highways England’s Environment Designated Fund will help improve and conserve the quantity, quality and condition of valued landscape features within mid-Cornwall.
The funding will help walkers and cyclists travel safely by creating a network linking Truro, St Agnes, Perranporth and Newquay. It will also help restore internationally rare heathland habitat and Bronze Age barrows, reduce flooding and water quality issues, and enable public access to the Grade II registered Chyverton Park.
Vinita Hill, Highways England Designated Funds Director, said: “Highways England is delighted to be partnering with Cornwall Council to realise a number of environmental and cycling projects. Our designated funds programme was developed so that we can invest in projects beyond our traditional road build and maintenance, and this is a glowing example of how this funding can have a positive impact on people and communities.”
Spanning more than 30 kilometres, and starting later this year, the work will significantly improve the cycle network, increasing cycling as a method of travel to work, attract leisure and tourism trips, and contribute to healthy active lifestyles, while opening access to the countryside to be enjoyed by resident and tourist cyclists alike. The routes include:
• St Agnes to Truro
• Trispen to Idless
• St Newlyn East to Carland Cross
• Perranporth to Newquay
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Truro and St Agnes Cycle campaigners, led so well by Sarah and John Wetherill as well as Jamie Roberson to secure this record breaking £17 million into new cycle ways. Along with an additional £10 million for improving our heritage, natural environment and resilience for climate change we can all look forward to more easily and safely exploring Cornwall. This £27 million investment is good for the environment, good for the climate and good for our health and wellbeing.”
Cornwall Council will lead the delivery of the cycling schemes, and over the coming months will conduct surveys and collect information to develop the designs. Early engagement with landowners will be followed by public and stakeholder consultation later in the year, with the schemes due to be delivered by spring 2021.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder for Transport said: ‘This major funding from Highways England provides us with a wonderful opportunity to provide some great opportunities for cycling.
“The routes will complement other cycle routes and trails across Cornwall. The cycle network will reach out to towns and villages and link with where residents live and work, connecting our communities and joining up access to the services that people want and need.”
“Cycling also helps address congestion and air quality issues and plays a key role in promoting a healthy life for our residents, and we look forward to working with our partners at Highways England and with the local communities, on delivering these exciting schemes.”
A total of £10 million of Environment Designated Funds will help improve and conserve the quantity, quality and condition of valued landscape features within mid-Cornwall.
Including historic assets within the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage site, the funding will help Cornwall Council and partners to build on their work around environmental growth and climate resilience, and the numerous schemes will include:
• creating nature-friendly “Green Ribs” to provide improved habitat and safe corridors for wildlife in landscapes either side of the strategic road network
• enhancing and restoring the internationally rare heathland habitat at Newlyn Downs,
• working with nature to reduce flooding and water quality issues downstream of local watercourses
• rescuing the Grade II listed Wheal Busy Smithy building near Chacewater
• understanding and enhancing the area’s Bronze Age barrows and the prehistoric “landscape of ancestors” they represent,
• restore and enable public access to the Grade II registered Chyverton Park.