The Lamb & Flag at Canonstown was packed on Thursday as local residents came to find out more about proposed safety measures along the A30 and the possibility of a Crowlas bypass.
More than 60 people gathered to hear West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas along with Joe Poynton and Charlie Cartwright, from the Crowlas Bypass Now group, give an update on future plans for the A30 from St Erth to the Newtown roundabout – a stretch of road that has long been bedevilled with congestion problems and safety issues.
The residents gave a number of examples of how the road was becoming ever more dangerous – John Mathews, from Canonstown, said he walked his dog up and down the road several times a day and saw ‘shunt after shunt’; another said that the Heather Lane junction was often used by motorists to make U-turns and a woman from Crowlas said she looked out at ‘daily’ near-misses from her home near the cross-roads.
The meeting agreed to launch a petition after the forthcoming Cornwall Council elections to demand that vital traffic-calming and road safety work be done ‘immediately’.
A Highways England report published 12 months ago identified the work which needs to be done, including traffic lights at the Crowlas crossroads, a 30mph speed limit through the village, improved signage and enhanced road marking but the agency has indicated that the work may not take place until 2020-21.
Mr Thomas also paid tribute to the Crowlas Bypass Now group’s work in getting the idea of a bypass on to Highways England’s agenda.
Last week, the South West Peninsula Strategy was published by Highways England and the road from Penzance to Camborne was named as one 11 lengths of the South West’s strategic road network which is now being considered ahead of the announcement in 2018 of the Road Investment Strategy for 2020-2025.
“This is a big step forward and demonstrates that the combined efforts by concerned residents, my office and the work of Crowlas Bypass Now group has gained the attention of the Government and Highways England,” said Mr Thomas. “It is not easy to generate sufficient interest in a road scheme in the far south west.
“If we were in Somerset looking for support for a road scheme, you would have everyone living west of there supporting you. At the end of the line, as we are here, we have to make all the running and make the case off our own back.”
Most of those attending gave out contact details to be updated on the campaign work and several expressed an interest in becoming part of a committee which will campaign both for immediate safety measures along the existing road and for a bypass in the longer term.
“It was a very positive meeting – I was taken aback by the turn-out and it showed how strongly people feel about improving this stretch of road,” said Mr Poynton.
“We will now work to constitute a campaign group and prepare to launch a petition early in May.”