Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of this public engagement exercise?

  • We are holding these events to introduce ourselves to the local community and provide an update on proposals for the Camelford Improvement that includes a new road passing to the west of Camelford.
  • This is an informal public engagement exercise and an opportunity to hear the views of residents, landowners, future users and interest groups, and to feed these views into the design process for the new road and improvements for centre of Camelford.
  • We are at the beginning of a process and nothing is formally decided. However, we have carried out an optioneering process to identify what we think is the best route alignment option. We are presenting this at the exhibition. We would like to hear your views to help us refine the route alignment and final design. In addition, ecology, land acquisition, engineering, and cost could still affect the final route alignment and design.
  • Following these exhibitions, the design team will carry out all the necessary survey investigations and work towards a more detailed design for inclusion in the Outline Business Case (OBC) to be submitted to the Department of Transport (DfT) in the summer of 2020. During this process we will, wherever possible, consider the needs of all parties.
  • Following the OBC submission the team will need to work towards the Final Business Case (FBC). Prior to submission of the FBC the scheme will need to get through the Planning Process. To do this we will need to show all the ecological mitigation and enhancement to be included in the scheme. Prior to the Planning determination we will carry out further public consultation. Again, this process could result in changes to the alignment.
  • The scheme will improve a stretch of the A39 Atlantic Highway by providing a new route around Camelford.
  • The 4km (2.5 mile) long new road will be a high quality modern single lane carriageway passing to the west of Camelford. It will be able to cater for the predicted traffic flows and the summer uplift of 40%. The speed limit has yet to be decided but is likely to be either 60mph or 50mph along the new road with 40mph at the roundabouts.
  • There will be four roundabout junctions: Valley Truckle on the A39 to the south; Trevia and Sportsmans providing local connectivity along the route; & Redgate on the A39 to the north. Roundabouts on the A39 will be constructed off line to reduce the timescale and disruption due to the road works
  • An 180m long and 27m high viaduct at Tregath will cross the Camel Valley.
  • Drainage basins and swales will be needed to deal with the run off from the road.
  • Some local road will be stopped up.
  • New Cornish Hedges will be provided alongside the bypass, junctions and feeder roads to reduce the visual impact.
  • Environmental measures will be put in place to mitigate against the impact of the scheme and to provide an environmental enhancement. This will include the planting of woodlands and the reconnection of isolated habitats by providing ecological corridors. Department of Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) rules (DEFRA 2.0 assessment matrix)  will be used to determine the level of enhancement but a minimum of 10% will be the requirement of Cornwall Council.
  • Complementary measures will be put in place in Camelford after the new road opens. These will aim to make Camelford a more attractive place to visit and enjoy.
  • A 3m wide shared use path for pedestrians, cyclists & equestrians will be provided alongside the new road from Valley Truckle to the Sportsmans roundabout and alongside the feeder roads to the junctions.
  • Street Lighting will not be provided along the new road. The majority of the road signs will be high reflectivity and unlit.
  • Reduce congestion within Camelford especially during the summer tourist season
  • Remove HGVs from Camelford.
  • Improve air quality within Camelford.
  • Improve the centre of Camelford to make it a more vibrant community hub that will encourage residents and tourists to visit, shop, carry out business, and socialise within the town.
  • Improve the north south journey time along the A39 corridor.
  • Improve connectivity for non-car users by enhancing the provision for pedestrian, cyclists and equestrians around Camelford.
  • Environmental enhancement including new woodlands. Build on legacy of Environmental Growth projects.
  • Encourage investment in Camelford and along the A39 corridor
  • Reduce accidents on existing road network
  • At this stage the scheme is estimated to cost in the region of £42.5m. This is the cost that has been submitted by Cornwall Council to the DfT in the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC).
  • Should the SOBC be successful then the DfT will provide further funding for scheme development.
  • The Major Road Network fund of the DfT will provide 85% of the overall scheme cost with Cornwall Council providing match funding of 15%.
  • The Design Team comprises Cornwall Council, Cormac, AECOM, and Royal Haskoning.
  • The proposed design route alignment is shown on the display boards.
  • Alternative route options were considered in 2017 and discounted in the favour of the proposed route alignment. The options report was produced in 2017 by Cormac. It recommended a trial of an HGV diversion route. This was not carried out as the improvements to the country lanes proposed would have cost £8m and it was considered prudent to put the money towards a new route around Camelford instead.
  • Initial surveys are underway, and these will increase over the next few months. Surveys include; Ecology, Topography, Drainage, ground investigation etc.
  • Letters have been sent to the landowners affected by the routes and some have been met. There Council land team will continue with the negotiations to procure the land wherever possible by negotiation.
  • The Council team have met with representatives of Camelford Town Council to discuss the complementary measures needed within the town post opening of the new road.
  • The DfT is the major funding partner and Cornwall Council will contribute 15% of the funding. These close relationships have proved highly successful in delivering major highway developments in Cornwall.
  • Cornwall Council will lead on the delivery of the new road and complementary measures, and over the coming months will be undertaking surveys and collating information to enhance the design and take it forward into the Outline Business Case (OBC). Early engagement with landowners will be essential in delivering the scheme in a timely fashion.
  • The OBC will be followed by further public and stakeholder consultation. The planning will be procured, and a tender exercise undertaken to bring a contractor on board. A Final Business Case (FBC) will then be submitted and if successful, construction will start in late 2021 with the scheme due to be delivered by autumn 2023.

The route alignment has been selected, wherever possible, to minimise negative impact upon residents, landowners and the environment. Various constraints along the route also affect the alignment, for example, the windmill at Valley Truckle and the high voltage pylons.

  • Following initial ecological surveys, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) will be produced. This will help the Planners determine the type of ecological surveys that need to be done along each section of the route during the development of the scheme.
  • Detailed surveys to be undertaken will include: trees; hedgerows; nesting birds; overwintering birds, endangered species; invasive plant species; dormice; bats; badgers; otters; invertebrates; water voles etc. Some of these surveys will take up to a year to complete. Other surveys will include pollution, noise, visual impact, water quality, agricultural land assessment etc.
  • This will lead to the production of the Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted as part of the planning process. This document will comprehensively assess the effect of the scheme on the environment and the residents. It will provide requirements and suggestions on how the Council can mitigate the impacts. Further an assessment will be made, using the latest DEFRA guidance, on the enhancement required to provide substantial environmental gain. The scheme will provide at least a 10% net gain for biodiversity. This should provide a significant uplift to the local environment.
  • Any environmental loss necessary to get the road constructed will be mitigated through construction of new Cornish Hedge, tree planting, and water filled basins and associated swales to provide drainage. Where we go through existing scrub or woodland, the creation of woodland margins is beneficial to many species. Enhancement is also likely to require the creation of wildflower margins and meadows, and the planting of significant areas of new woodland.
  • The hard engineering of the scheme will also include silt and oil interceptors in the road drainage. Drainage basins will be permanently wet bottomed to encourage wildlife to move in and will be designed to remove pollution before the water from the road enters local water courses. The capacity of the drainage will cater for the 100 year return period storm plus 40% to allow for increases in rainfall and major rainfall events in the future. The basins will incorporate features to release the water at a controlled rate into the local water courses.
  • The most critical ecological impact is likely to be where the new road crosses the Camel Valley. This includes a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), a special area of conservation (SAC), and a biodiversity action plan (BAP) zone. To reduce the in-service impact the design has minimised the extent of the approach earthworks – these do not now enter the designated zones. The minimised earthworks in turn require an 180m long and 27m high viaduct. The height and relative slenderness of the viaduct will reduce the effect of the shadow on the woodland below. All highway drainage from the viaduct will flow through the roadside drainage pipes to the adjacent basins located to the west of the river valley. Drainage will flow through a series of three basins to ensure that no pollution can enter the river Camel even during extreme rainfall events.
  • The effect of construction on the river valley will be considered and will be undertaken in a manner that will reduce the impact as much as possible. The current viaduct design does require one of the bridge piers to be located within the ecologically designated zones. Early contractor involvement will be critical in developing a construction process that will reduce the impact to the absolute minimum. In addition, consideration will also be given to means to reduce and mitigate the likely in-serviceimpact. 
  • We are keen to hear your views about the proposed design and alignment of the newroad, giving you the opportunity to influence the scheme going forward. Once youhave had a look at the exhibition material, please complete the feedback form.
  • Hardcopies of the feedback form are available at the public engagements or can be requested by contacting the project team at a39camelford@cornwall.gov.uk 

The consultation period ends on the 16th April 2020 although your views are welcome throughout the whole scheme development.
Please let us know if you support the scheme, how you think the scheme could be improved, and let us know of any issues that may affect you. You may also like to suggest improvements you would like to see in Camelford, or surrounding area, when the new road is open.

All your views will be considered in the ongoing scheme assessment and design process.

  • The route has been designed to the latest design standards incorporated in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges.
  • The designs and the completed road will be subject to a 4-stage road safety audit process. The first on the preliminary design taken into the OBC; the second on thedesign before construction starts; the third immediately prior to the road opening; and finally, one year after opening.
  • The pedestrian, cycling and equestrian paths alongside the new road will be segregated from the highway wherever possible by a 2.5m wide grassed verge and where appropriate a low height Cornish hedge. Crossings will be provided at the roundabouts with pedestrian refuges on the splitter islands.
  • Paths will also be provided alongside the feeder roads to the Valley Truckle, Trevia and Sportsmans roundabouts. These will connect to existing pedestrian provision.
  • No direct accesses will be allowed from side roads onto the new road. All side road access will be through the new roundabouts.
  • Overtaking opportunity will be provided along about 30% of the length of the new road where visibility allows it.
  • Two new laybys will be provided, one in each direction. The location of these has not yet been determined.
  • Given the rural nature of the road there is no intention to light the road. Signage will be
  • highly reflective and roundabouts will have reflective signage to guide users.
  • The Highways Department of Cornwall Council will adopt the road after construction and then be responsible for the long-term maintenance.
  • The A39 through Camelford will be downgraded to a B or C class road. Measures will be put in place to encourage vehicles to use the new road rather than travel through the town. However, signage will be put in place to encourage travellers to visit Camelford.
  • A key element of the project is how we can improve Camelford once the majority of traffic is removed from the high street. The scheme cost estimate does include money to carryout complementary measures within the town. These will aim to make Camelford a more vibrant community hub that will encourage residents and tourists to visit, shop, carry out business, and socialise within the town. The measures will be put in place following the opening of the new road.
  •  The Town Council have been asked for ideas and suggestions that the project team can design and cost. If you have any suggestions, then please let the team know. We would encourage you to tell us about the changes that you’d like to see and to leave your comments on the feedback forms. 
  • The intention is that construction will start towards the end of 2021 and the road will be open by Autumn 2023.
  • The current programme for scheme development is shown on Board 15.
  • The majority of the construction will be away from roads but there may be local disruption with traffic management in place or diversions required where the new road crosses local roads.
  • The roundabouts to the south and north of Camelford will be constructed off-line to reduce impact on the traffic on the A39.
  • Some roads will be permanently closed when the scheme is complete. These include: the C0312 Trefrew to Slaughterbridge; the B3266 north of the Secondary School; and the U6137 Trevia Lane to the east of Romaive.
  • Except for the C0312 Trefrew to Slaughterbridge, all roads will still have full connectivity into Camelford via the new roundabout junctions provided as part of the scheme. Residents of Slaughterbridge will need to use the A39 or the B3266 to access Camelford.
  • Where a road is severed new turning heads will be provided.
  • All properties that currently have direct access to the public highway will still retain access.
  • The funding stream from the DfT needs to be secured.
  • A final design is needed including not just the road but all the environmental mitigation and enhancement measures.
  • All surveys must be completed. These feed into the design and planning process.
  • Planning permission needs to be granted.
  • Land acquisition needs to be agreed with the landowners. Negotiations are currently underway - the intention is to secure the land by agreement but if necessary the Council would acquire the land through the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process.
  • A tender exercise run to bring a contractor on board.
  • An economic business case developed for inclusion in the Final Business Case (FBC).
  • And finally, the FBC accepted by the DfT so that funding for the construction is released.
  • There is a legal process for compensation for land that is compulsory purchased, or temporarily used during construction, and land agents engaged by land owners will ensure that the compensation package is accessed.
  • Wherever possible land acquisition will be agreed through negotiation with landowners. Only if absolutely necessary will the Council acquire land through the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process.
  • Reasonable legal fees and land agent fees incurred by landowners during the land acquisition process will be paid by the Council.
  • Anyone affected by the construction works or by the new road or ancillary works when in use, is entitled to compensation through a Part 1 claim. Further if anyone believes that their property value or business will be blighted by the new road, can make a claim.
  • If you believe that any of the above is likely to be an issue for you then please contact the Council Land Team who can explain the process.
  • It is the Council’s intention to negotiate with property owners & tenants to provide accommodation works wherever possible to reduce the impact of the new road on their home, business and access.
  • Accommodation works can include: farm gates, fencing, farm access tracks; bunds; diversion of utilities; screening; and much more.
  • All of the feedback received during this public engagement will be collated and a report compiled which will assist the designers finalise the route and show the level of local support.
  • We await a decision from central Government on the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) already submitted to the DfT.
  • If the outcome is positive and the DfT provides further funding, then the project team will prepare an Outline Business Case (OBC) for submission to the DfT in the summer of 2020.
  • If the DfT agree with the OBC the scheme will then progress towards the Final Business Case (FBC) stage. The FBC will be submitted to the DfT in the Autumn of 2021. There are a number of steps that will need to be completed before the FBC can be delivered.
  • Land negotiations will continue with a view to agreeing in principle the land purchase in preparation for acquiring the land prior to the start of construction. A report will need to be presented to Cornwall Council Cabinet to get their approval for the land purchase needed to allow the schemes to go ahead.
  • Surveyors will be on site over the spring, summer & autumn 2020, and an Environmental Impact Assessment produced.
  • Environmental mitigation and enhancement will need to be determined and committed to.
  • Planning permission will be required. This will include statutory consultation.
  • The Economic Business Case will need to be produced.
  • A tender process will procure a contractor and associated price for the works.
  • The FBC will be submitted.
  • And finally, if the DfT release the funding, the construction will commence.