Trenance car park in Newquay is being renovated as part of plans to create a link with the Saints Trail route between Newquay and Perranporth for residents and visitors.
Work is underway on improving the drainage and surface of the car park and providing an access point for users of the multi-use route.
Green strips have been retained for walkers who use the car park and arrangements will be in place to enable the popular cafe to return to its location opposite the skatepark.
Connecting the route with Trenance car park will mean Trail users can park at the site and then cycle or walk towards Perranporth or follow the cycle and walking routes into Newquay town centre.
The four Saints Trail routes will see around 30km of multi-use trails built across central Cornwall:
- Perranporth to Newquay
- St Agnes to Truro
- St Newlyn East to Carland Cross
- Trispen to Idless
Construction of the next section of the Perranporth to Newquay route is set to begin in the autumn, subject to final land acquisition, with an off-road link built between Cocks and Goonhavern. This link will connect with the Goonhavern section which was completed last year and will take cyclists, walkers and horse riders along route of the former railway line over Reen Rose Road.
Work on the first sections of the St Agnes to Truro trail will also begin around the same time, subject to final land acquisition, between St Agnes and Sevenmilestone.
Cornwall Council is investing £2m into the trails with the majority of the funding (£17.07m) for the project coming from Highways England as part of its programme to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and businesses who live and work alongside the strategic road network.
Given the scale of the project and the need to undertake liaison with landowners and extensive environmental surveys, Highways England has agreed to extend the deadline for completing the project. All four trails will be built by the end of March 2023.
While land negotiations are ongoing, work continues on the project with vegetation clearance programmed to support site investigations, a new safe route for cyclists crossing the A39 at St Erme has also recently been completed as part of the Trispen to Idless trail. Planning permission has been achieved for both Perranporth to Newquay and St Agnes to Chiverton and an enormous amount of work continues to ensure detailed designs are complete, further progressing development of the project.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “This project is all about connecting our communities, linking where residents live and work and joining up access to the services people want and need. The work at Trenance car park will not only benefit users now, but when the trail is built, will provide a natural hub for visitors wanting to access the route.
“The Saints Trails will bring many benefits for the communities involved – to health, the environment and local economy. We’ve seen how popular the Camel and Bissoe trails are with tourists and we expect the Saints Trails to have a similar draw - we’ve also had requests for new trails all over Cornwall. And swapping the car for a bike helps address congestion on our roads and improve air quality.
“While it may appear as though construction has stalled, I would like to reassure residents that a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make this project a reality.
“It is a complex project, but we are confident of completing construction within the newly agreed timeframe and within budget.”
Hannah Sanderson, Highways England Senior Project Manager, South West Regional Investment Programme, said: “We are very pleased that work is continuing on Cornwall’s Saints Trails.
“At Highways England, our work goes beyond operating, maintaining and improving roads, through our Designated Funds programme we are investing in the environment and communities surrounding our network, as well as the people travelling and working on it.
“This network of cycle routes have been carefully designed by Highways England and Cornwall Council to bring numerous benefits to the people and businesses living near the A30. The St Agnes to Truro section will deliver a high quality traffic-free route between employment and residential areas. The Perranporth to Newquay scheme will re-use the route of an abandoned railway, creating a new tourist attraction as well as providing a multi-use trail.
“We will continue to work closely with Cornwall Council to realise these exciting projects and look forward to seeing the next section of the trails developed.”