A30/St Erth - Newtown Improvement
|St Erth - Newtown Improvement|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Hayle Bypass ends at St Erth Roundabout, the proposed start point of the St Erth - Newtown Improvement.|
|Upgrade (Single to Dual-Carriageway)|
|£9.3m to £12.3m (1993 Prices)|
St Erth - Newtown Improvement scheme was a proposed improvement, now cancelled, to the A30 between the St Erth and Newtown Roundabouts in Cornwall. It would have replaced the A30 between the two junctions with a new dual carriageway between the two roundabouts.
The St Erth - Newtown Improvement scheme was proposed by the County Surveyor for Cornwall as Agent for the Department of Transport to replace the most westerly section of single carriageway trunk road in England with a new dual carriageway route. Originally put forward in the 1970's, after the economic slump of the late 70's and 1980's it was finally taken up by the then DoT as part of the Roads For Prosperity programme and subsequent reviews of it.
The proposal included two potential routes. The northern/eastern sections were identical, running west of St Erth Roundabout at the end of the Hayle Bypass, turning South the cross the existing road south of The Lamb and Flag Inn in Canon's Town to shadow the rail line. The two routes then split south of Gitchell Lane. The Yellow route took a more easterly route, following the Railway until Rospeath Lane, before turning west and joining Newtown roundabout to the North East. The Blue took a more westerly route, running north of Rospeath Farm and closer to Crowlas and heading south west on a relatively straight alignment to meet Newtown Roundabout.
The proposal also included two terminal junctions and no intermediate ones. Only one option was show for each, although the consultation document of the time suggested that there were plans for both Grade-Separated and At-Grade junctions. The consultation leaflet showed one plan for each junction. St Erth Roundabout was shown to be replaced with a grade-separated junction utilising the two railway bridges that are part of the current roundabout. It would be a modified dumbbell junction using three roundabouts. The old road through St Erth and both Westbound slip roads would connect to a roundabout to the south of the new road, with a link road under the new dual carriageway to another roundabout connecting the A3074 to St Ives and the eastbound slip road from the A30. Another roundabout would be connected to the east of this one, using the current northern bridge over the railway, which would join the B3301 into Hayle and the Eastbound slip road to the A30.
Newtown roundabout was shown to be replaced with a larger, 6 arm roundabout with the new road joining in the North East of it. The consultation document did say that there was an option for a grade-separated junction, but this was not shown.
However, the scheme was deferred in a Department review, Managing the Trunk Road Programme November 1995, and cancelled in 1996 with many other schemes. No progress has been made on the scheme since.
Road Investment Strategy
In 2014, the government announced its new Road Investment Strategy, bringing a new approach to funding for trunk road schemes. Two schemes along the A30 in Cornwall were proposed but this Scheme was not taken forward.
Highways England produced a review of the section of road in April 2016 with Kier producing the assessment. Several minor improvements were proposed along the route, including adding traffic lights to the crossroads in Crowlas to improve safety at this locally notorious junction, reduction of speed limits across the whole route and several other improvements to signage and junctions across the whole route. However, funding for this has been pushed back to 2021.
In addition to this Cornwall Council is building a new Park & Ride station at St Erth for improved access to the Railway Station at St Erth in the hope that people will use the new site to travel to Penzance and, perhaps more importantly, St Ives, which has very limited capacity for traffic running through it. As part of this, the T-Junction on the A30 outside St Erth station is being upgraded to a signalised junction, with other localised improvements to the road to St Erth. This is part of the reason that other improvements are being delayed until it is seen how this scheme affects traffic flows on the rest of the route.
Support for the Scheme
Highways England identified the capacity issues along this stretch as part of their South West Peninsular Route Strategy in March 2017, with further investigations to the route between Camborne and Penzance expected in the near future as Highways England look to finalise the schemes that they are going to take forward into the next Road Investment Strategy.
The MP for St. Ives has been lobbying for this scheme to be included in Highways England's next Road Investment Strategy and a local campaign group, Crowlas Bypass Now, had been active in pushing for this improvement to return to the programme for many years. They have also been consulted by Highways England at a regional conference in Exeter and the initial response from them is reported to have been positive due to the scheme's small size and local support. Cornwall Council have also appeared to restrict development immediately west of St Erth roundabout, which could suggest that there could still be an ambition to improve this section of road in the future although there is little evidence to support this.
Crowlas Bypass Now have said that this scheme is one of eleven in the South West that are being reviewed for inclusion in the new Road Investment Strategy and Highways England are apparently quite surprised by the support that the scheme has locally despite having witnessed the large support that the Chiverton Cross to Carland Cross and Temple to Higher Carblake received previously further east. Several ministers have also visited the site, including previous Transport Secretary Sir Patrick McLoughlin, current Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Transport Minister Andrew Jones and there is support for the scheme from Cornwall Council.
However, until the affects of the traffic lights at St Erth and Crowlas and the other localised improvements can be fully assessed, it may be 10 years or more before we see this scheme open and there is no guarantee that will be dual carriageway standard, especially with the adjacent Hayle Bypass having been built to Wide Single-Carriageway standard in the early 1980's. Any improvement to this section of A30 could cause more pressure on the Hayle and Connor Downs Bypasses, which will mean more improvements will need to be made along this section too, escalating costs in the long term.
Crowlas Bypass Now - Campaign Group