Levelling Up Fund grant to transform mid Cornwall transport links


Railway station

Cornwall Council has successfully bid for a £50m grant from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help transform transport links in Cornwall. 

The money will be used for a new coast to coast Mid Cornwall Metro to create a sustainable transport corridor through Cornwall. The new direct train service will vastly improve the current links between four of Cornwall’s largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn so residents will be able to better connect to employment, education (including higher education and university), and key services. It will also reduce journey times and ease road congestion for people living along the route. 

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, said: “This is great news for residents and businesses in Cornwall. This project will make a real difference to the everyday lives of people and create so many opportunities by better connecting communities to jobs, services, education, and each other, as well as provide economic benefits in allowing quicker, easier access for commuters and visitors coming into the area. 

“This is just the beginning, with further LUF bids to come as well as the £132m Shared Prosperity Fund we are already beginning to distribute to projects that drive good growth.” 

Connor Donnithorne, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport said: “This exciting project is an important next step in developing and improving the transport network for areas like Par, and to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport. It also complements the work we have been doing to make bus travel more accessible and affordable.” 

GWR Head of Strategic Service Development Matthew Barnes said: “This really is super news for rail and wider, sustainable transport choices across the south west.  

“The improvement to Newquay that the Mid Cornwall Metro will really enhance services, better connecting people with jobs, students with education services, and leisure opportunities for all – providing valuable support for the community and local economies we serve.” 

David Davidson, Network Rail’s interim Western route director, said: “We are delighted more funding has been made available to transform the railway in the south west. The railway needs this investment to better cope with growth in demand.  

“We look forward to working with UK Government, GWR and other partners to deliver these transformational schemes.” 

Story posted 19 January 2023

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