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Cabinet back bid for A39 Camelford bypass

A bypass for Camelford has moved a step closer after Cornwall Council’s Cabinet agreed last week (24 July 2019) to contribute £6.5 million to support a bid for Department for Transport Major Road Network funding to deliver the £42.5million scheme.

A new bypass has long been requested by Camelford residents to tackle issues around traffic congestion and air pollution on the busy A39 which is currently funnelled on a single lane through the town centre.  The issues are brought even more to the fore during the summer months when traffic levels increase.

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The Council’s bid to the Department for Transport will focus on the need to ‘unblock’ the A39, which is the main route from north Cornwall to north Devon, and provide the catalyst for improving Camelford town centre.

A previous design for a proposed bypass will be reviewed and brought up to date to meet modern standards as well as fully considering the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders along and across the bypass.

There will be consultation with the public and stakeholders later this year to feed into the preferred routes and design which will influence any future planning application.

If the Department of Transport recognise that a bypass at Camelford will help economic development as well as improve air quality for residents, work on the £42.5 million scheme could start at the end of 2021 and be open in 2023.

Cabinet portfolio holder for transport Geoff Brown said:  “This scheme is our next major ask of the Department for Transport.  It already has the support of the Peninsula Sub National Transport Body and this latest commitment from the Council to provide funding to progress the bid is a major boost.”   

“We have been monitoring nitrogen dioxide levels in Camelford for several years. The biggest source of nitrogen dioxide is the exhaust gases from traffic passing through the town on the A39.  We have a duty to local residents to push for this bypass to improve their lives and transform the town. A similar scheme which provided the A39 bypass of Wadebridge in the 1990’s allowed that town to blossom and improve the environment for residents and visitors alike.”

Cornwall Councillor for Camelford Rob Rotchell spoke in support of the proposal and welcomed the Cabinet decision: “One of the important things is to have the support of residents as well as Cornwall Council. It sends a powerful message to the Department for Transport that residents want this bypass and that the Council is willing to provide financial support and expertise to progress the bid for government funding.”

Mayor of Camelford Claire Hewlett was at the Cabinet meeting and said: “Camelford has suffered from excessive traffic movement and increasingly bad air quality for many years.  The A39 bypass is essential for the health and well-being of the people of Camelford and the future sustainability of Camelford and its environs.”

Scott Mann MP for North Cornwall said:  “I'd like to thank Cornwall Council's Cabinet for their approval of funding for the Camelford bypass. The £6.5m is a significant contribution to the total funding needed to make the project a reality.

The new road has been at the top of my agenda since I was first elected in 2015 and I will be continuing to lobby the Department for Transport to ensure the Government supports North Cornwall in delivering this vital piece of infrastructure.”


Story posted 29 July 2019