Conservatives welcome Highways England funding cycling and heritage boost for Cornwall

Highways England is investing millions of pounds to improve the lives of communities and cyclists, and wildlife along the A30 in Cornwall.

The company, responsible for managing and maintaining England’s major A roads and motorways, is allocating £27 million of designated funding to Cornwall for a wide range of cycling and environmental initiatives – among them a variety of new cycle paths, habitat and heritage projects.

Commenting, Sarah Newton, Member of Parliament 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.”

Commenting, Cllr Linda Taylor, Leader of the Conservative Group on Cornwall Council, said:

“This unprecedented £27m is an excellent investment and comes as a direct result of the Government’s earlier funding for the A30 improvements.”

“Our congratulations to Sarah Newton MP, who had worked tirelessly with local campaigners to help deliver this funding that will be so beneficial to residents and visitors alike for a green and healthy transport future.”

“More direct evidence of this government’s investment in Cornwall and the Conservatives on Cornwall Council will continue to work with our Cornish MP colleagues to ensure Cornwall gets our fair share of funds available.”

Commenting, 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.”

A total of £17 million is being invested into Cornwall from Highways England’s Cycling, Safety and Integration Designated Fund, alongside a further £2 million from Cornwall Council towards a comprehensive, high-quality off-road walking and cycling network linking Truro, St Agnes, Perranporth and Newquay.

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

Cornwall Council will be leading on the delivery of these exciting schemes, and over the coming months will be undertaking surveys and collating 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.

A total of £10 million of Environment Designated Funds has also been awarded to 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.

Partners involved in the projects are Cornwall Council, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England, Cornwall Catchment Partnership, and Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.

The Department for Transport has allocated £900 million of funds to Highways England over a six-year spending period covering 2015 to 2021.

A series of ring-fenced funds are designated to address a range of issues including Environment, Cycling, safety and integration, Air Quality and Innovation.

The cycling projects in Cornwall have been developed as part of Highways England cycling designated fund, and the company is working to achieve a target to deliver 150 cycling schemes by the end of Road Investment Period (2015-2020), and 200 cycling schemes by 2020/21 after the government set up the £100 million dedicated fund for cycling in its Road Investment Strategy.