Highways England, responsible for managing and maintaining England’s major A roads and motorways, is pumping £27 million into the county for a wide range of initiatives including a variety of new cycle paths, habitat and heritage projects.
The funding will help walkers and cyclists travel safely by creating a network linking Truro with St Agnes, Perranporth and Newquay. It will also help restore internationally rare heathland habitat and Bronze Age barrows, reduce flooding and water quality issues, and restore the Grade II registered Chyverton Park.
Vinita Hill, Highways England Designated Funds Director, said:
Highways England is delighted to be partnering with Cornwall Council to realise a number of environmental and cycling projects. Our designated funds programme was developed so that we can invest in projects beyond our traditional road build and maintenance, and this is a glowing example of how this funding can have a positive impact on people and communities.
A total of £17 million is being invested from Highways England’s Cycling, Safety and Integration Designated Fund, alongside a further £2 million from Cornwall Council towards a comprehensive, high-quality off-road walking and cycling.
Spanning more than 30 kilometres, and starting later this year, the work will significantly improve the cycle network, increasing cycling as a method of travel to work, attract leisure and tourism trips, and contribute to healthy active lifestyles, while opening access to the countryside to be enjoyed by resident and tourist cyclists alike. The routes include:
- St Agnes to Truro
- Trispen to Idless
- St Newlyn East to Carland Cross
- Perranporth to Newquay
Cornwall Council will lead the delivery of these schemes, and over the coming months will conduct surveys and collect information to develop the designs. Early engagement with landowners will be followed by public and stakeholder consultation later in the year, with the schemes due to be delivered by spring 2021.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio holder for Transport said:
This major funding from Highways England provides us with a wonderful opportunity to provide some great opportunities for cycling.
The routes will complement other cycle routes and trails across Cornwall. The cycle network will reach out to towns and villages and link with where residents live and work, connecting our communities and joining up access to the services that people want and need.
Cycling also helps address congestion and air quality issues and plays a key role in promoting a healthy life for our residents, and we look forward to working with our partners at Highways England and with the local communities, on delivering these exciting schemes.
A total of £10 million of Environment Designated Funds will help improve and conserve the quantity, quality and condition of valued landscape features within mid-Cornwall.
Including historic assets within the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage site, the funding will help Cornwall Council and partners to build on their work around environmental growth and climate resilience, and the numerous schemes will include:
- creating nature-friendly “Green Ribs” to provide improved habitat and safe corridors for wildlife in landscapes either side of the strategic road network
- enhancing and restoring the internationally rare heathland habitat at Newlyn Downs,
- working with nature to reduce flooding and water quality issues downstream of local watercourses
- rescuing the Grade II listed Wheal Busy Smithy building near Chacewater
- understanding and enhancing the area’s Bronze Age barrows and the prehistoric “landscape of ancestors” they represent
- restoring the Grade II registered Chyverton Park
Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for environment and public protection added:
This funding from Highways England offers an opportunity for partners to work with local communities to restore and enhance the environment, together with historic and cultural assets in mid-Cornwall.
It will support our climate emergency plans, helping residents to reduce their dependency on car travel while supporting communities in adapting to the impacts of climate change by improving waterways and flood resilience. The schemes build on the work of local partners in Cornwall, offering benefits to residents, wildlife and visitors now and into future decades.
Partners involved in the projects are Cornwall Council, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England, Cornwall Catchment Partnership, and Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.
The Government allocated £675 million of funds to Highways England over a five-year spending period covering 2015 to 2020.
The series of ring-fenced funds are designated to address a range of issues including Environment, Cycling, Safety and Integration, Air Quality and Innovation.
The cycling projects in Cornwall have been developed as part of Highways England’s cycling designated fund, and the company is working to achieve a target to deliver 150 cycling schemes by the end of the Road Investment Period (2015-2020). The Cornwall projects are due to complete in 2021.
For more information please visit the Highways England Designated Funds page.