VIDEO | A30 safety improvements in Cornwall promised by Transport Minister Chris Grayling
A “nightmare” traffic junction on the A30 came under the personal scrutiny of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as the general election campaign hit the road in West Cornwall.
The visit by the high profile member of the cabinet followed this week’s whistlestop tour of a business in Helston by Prime Minister Theresa May which provoked widespread criticism for its handling of local press.
In contrast to that tightly controlled event, Mr Grayling met members of the community on the corner of a residential street in Crowlas and Ludgvan were people have long campaigned for a busy junction to be made safer.
The minister said Derek Thomas, the Conservative prospective Parliamentary candidate for St Ives, had been “badgering” him to see what a dangerous road it was.
He promised to take the matter up with Highways England and that action would be taken, but could not provide a time scale.
“I have come to see for myself what Derek has been telling me about.
“I get the problem and I will take it up with Highways England about what we can do here.
“We have got money available for small projects and I will go back and see what can be done.”
Earlier in the morning, Mr Grayling visited the site of the new Great Western Railway train depot at nearby Long Rock, a £20million project to improve the company’s sleeper service.
When the works at Temple are complete, the four mile stretch of the A30 between St Erth and the Marazion bypass will be the only part of the road east of Penzance which is single carriageway.
There has been a long term plan to build a bypass around the villages along the road which is it hoped will go forward for approval for funding from 2020.
In the meantime, residents say the speed limit through Crowlas in particular needs to be brought down to 30mph and junctions which are the scenes of frequent accidents must be improved.
Mark Squires, a local resident, said he had been campaigning for 12 years to have the junction which crosses the A30 in a 40mph zone.
“It is a nightmare here,” he said.
“We have asked for a mini roundabout and it has now progressed to traffic lights. This is a priority now.
“Everyone wants a bypass but people are having accidents and getting stuck on a daily basis, so we need action now.”
He said there had been a fatality and warned it could happen again.
Local resident Brian Hannibal added: “You see women and children cross the road here to go to school and it’s awful to watch. Your heart is in your mouth.”
” This needs sorting out and the speed limit needs reducing,” said Mr Squires.
“Fingers crossed this will go to the top of the list.”
On the second leg of his visit to Cornwall, Mr Grayling dropped in to see Sarah Newton, the Conservative’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth.
She showed him some of the transport improvements in Cornwall, including First Kernow’s £7.4million investment in a new fleet of branded buses.
She said that as well as providing a number of additional features, including internet access and USB charging, the new vehicles had also been built to the latest low emission European standards.
This means 12% of the 335 buses currently being used in Cornwall will have been upgraded, producing an 84% reduction in emissions which will significantly improve air quality along roads.