A dedicated route for people wanting to walk and cycle between Penryn and Falmouth has taken a step closer to becoming reality following a successful Council bid for Government funding.
The Council has been awarded £1.2m to develop proposals for the 1.7 mile route between Eastwood Road in Penryn, Draceana Avenue, and Falmouth Town Centre via Killigrew Street.
Funding for the scheme has come from the latest round of the Government’s Active Travel Fund which aims to improve the quality of highway infrastructure to support more journeys made by sustainable means and improve public health.
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council cabinet member for transport, said: “This funding award is the latest initiative to support healthy streets in the Penryn and Falmouth area which all aim to give people choices about how they travel to not only benefit their health, but also our environment.
“Almost half of all travel to work journeys starting in Falmouth are of less than 5km. For Penryn the figure is 43%. There is a real opportunity to switch some of those journeys from car to active travel – such as walking and cycling, which are great ways to build exercise into your day. We want to make it easier for people to consider alternative ways of travel and highway infrastructure changes such as this make a difference.”
The scheme forms part of a wider package of proposals to support low carbon travel and healthier, safer streets in Falmouth and Penryn, including reduced bus fares and improvements that aim to reduce bus journey times, the Falmouth Town Centre pedestrian priority zone, further walking and cycling improvements along Bickland Water Road, an area-wide 20mph speed limit, and school streets scheme trials.
Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “Having grown up in Falmouth, I particularly welcome this news and the contribution it will make to helping to residents to make choices about how they travel. In April the United Nations published its report on climate change stating that urgent action is needed to reduce carbon emissions. Around a quarter of Cornwall’s carbon emissions come from road transport and this needs to significantly reduce.
“We all have a role to play – if we commit to swapping even one regular car journey, it will help make a difference.”
The Council has worked with local stakeholders to develop the proposals including local Cornwall Councillors, Penryn and Falmouth town councils, Sustrans, the Penryn Campus Bike Users Group, as well as local cycling groups.
Laura Kelley, of the Penryn Campus Bike User Group, said: “This is fantastic news for Falmouth and Penryn. More than 6,000 people travel to and from the Penryn campus daily, if even a small fraction switch to using a bike that would be really positive in relation to traffic, pollution and health locally.
“Recent local surveys have shown that it is concerns about road safety rather than hills and the weather that are the major barrier to more people commuting between Falmouth and Penryn by bike, and this new scheme will make cycling locally much safer for all.”