Highways England has announced a multi-million pound boost for cycling, heritage and wildlife projects for communities along the A30 in Cornwall.
The company, responsible for managing and maintaining England’s major A roads and motorways, is pumping £27 million into the county for a wide range of initiatives including a variety of new cycle paths, habitat and heritage projects.
The funding will help walkers and cyclists travel safely by creating a network linking Truro with St Agnes, Perranporth and Newquay.
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 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.
Spanning more than 30 kilometres, and starting later this year, the work aims to ‘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.
The routes include St Agnes to Truro, Trispen to Idless, St Newlyn East to Carland Cross and Perranporth to Newquay.
Cornwall Council will lead the delivery of these 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.
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 cycling projects in Cornwall have been developed as part of Highways England’s cycling designated fund, and the company is working to achieve a target to deliver 150 cycling schemes by the end of the Road Investment Period (2015-2020). The Cornwall projects are due to complete in 2021.