CHIVERTON CYCLE BRIDGE AND ST AGNES TO TRURO SAINTS TRAIL

 

Sign our petition!

The Council will soon be deciding the fate of the Chiverton cycle bridge. Please sign our petition here by 15th May to help ensure the St Agnes to Truro Saints Trail is delivered as originally intended with the bridge at Chiverton and the segregated cycle path along Teagle Straight. Please make a comment if you can, particularly with your views about the underpass. See our assessment of the underpass below. If you've already signed you can still go back into the petition, scroll down and enter 'Reasons for signing'.  Alternatively please email the Transport Portfolioholder, Philip Desmonde, directly   cllr.philip.desmonde@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Council's Saints Trails webpages

For the latest Cornwall Council information on the trail please see their webpages here

 

Background

In 2018/19, during the planning process for the A30 improvement scheme, we led a successful campaign for a safe cycle crossing at Chiverton and a route between St Agnes and Truro. 

This helped win £17 million of funding from National Highways (formerly Highways England) for this route and 3 others, all to be known as the 'Saints Trails'. Cornwall Council would match this with £2 million. The other trails included one between Perranporth and Newquay along the old railway and two smaller routes at Carland Cross and Idless.

The St Agnes to Truro route would see a cycle bridge put in at the present 'Starbucks' site of Chiverton junction where the A30 will be lowered by 2m and the roundabout removed. (A new roundabout will be built 700m to the east).  Shared use paths would be built on either side of the bridge extending from St Agnes to Threemilestone. These would link to existing A390 shared use paths and future cycling paths into Truro.

 A bold step forward it would enable far more people to commute by bike, promoting active travel, reducing carbon emissions and pollution whilst also harnessing the potential of E- bikes to boost cycling rates. Destinations such as Treliske Hospital, Truro College, Richard Lander and TMS business park would be in reach. It would set a precedent for other routes into the city. It would also be a great leisure route for those in Truro, Threemilestone and the future Langarth development to reach the North Coast.

Situation as at Spring 2022

The St Agnes to Chiverton segregated shared path received planning permission in October 2020 and the bridge at Chiverton has gained consent in March. After a long hiatus work has started on the St Agnes to Sevenmilestone section and Cormac have just started survey and design work for the path from Chiverton to Threemilestone. Few issues are expected along this section as it will largely be built on highways land. 

However, much to our concern the section of segregated path alongside the B3277 at 'Teagle Straight' has been dropped from the current project due to landownership and timing issues. Cyclists will now be routed along less direct and hillier back lanes through Wheal Butson and Silverwell. This greatly detracts from the key aim of a fast cycle commuting route.
The route enters a critical period of review

The Saints Trails projects as a whole have suffered from substantial land acquisition, budget and timescale issues. The two smaller routes have been dropped and the Perranporth to Newquay one will now only reach Goonhavern. A large portion of the original funding for all the routes has been handed back to National Highways.  As set out above the Teagle Straight section has been dropped.

The St Agnes to Truro route has now entered a critical period of review by Cornwall Council.  The cost of delivering the A390 paths and the Chiverton bridge is being assessed. Tenders for the construction of the bridge are expected by 13th May.   £1m has been allocated by Cornwall Council to match the £5m European (ESIF) money which is now the main funding source for the route. However, we are concerned that the Council may seek to reduce its match funding by allowing the underpass, currently under construction as part of the A30 improvement scheme, to take the place of the bridge.  The Council may also drop the bridge if costs have risen and there is a funding shortfall.  If this is the case we believe the Council should re-apply for some of the original National Highways funding (which was handed back) to ensure the bridge is delivered.

Why the underpass is not acceptable

The underpass is nearly 74m long, only 4m wide, in an isolated position and away from the direct alignment. It is more like a tunnel. It would be intimidating to use especially when cycling alone or in the evening. Being shared by horses and cyclists it could result in conflict between the two user groups. Retrospectively included, 'with minimum cost', to get the A30 scheme through planning the underpass is not fit for 21st century cycling provision.  It does not deliver on the original aim of the route: to be cyclable by an unaccompanied 12 year old.

We commissioned an independent assessment by 'Transport Initiatives LLP' of the underpass and bridge options for the crossing of the A30 at Chiverton.  Read the report here.  We feel this makes a strong independent case for the bridge and should be a material consideration in the Council’s deliberations.  We also hope that it is useful in justifying the need for the bridge in the face of criticism about value for money. 

Why the Council should deliver the route as originally intended

The Council’s £1m investment would help save £ms in terms of healthier lifestyles and lower carbon emissions and save on the fuel costs of commuting by car.

If the Teagle Straight section and Chiverton bridge are not built many will be excluded by the extra effort and time needed and fears for personal safety. The trail will not encourage the needed 'modal shift' from car to cycle. We have, therefore, launched our petition calling on Cornwall Council to deliver the St Agnes to Truro Saints Trail as originally intended, including the bridge. We welcome the fact that negotiations with landowners along Teagle Straight are continuing. The replacement on road route is being funded by National Highways.  They have indicated that they will be open to future funding bids to deliver the original segregated section but we seek a firm commitment from the Council to reapply for this money.  This will save on the cost already expended on all the detailed design and survey work done and planning consent gained. And any additional Council match funding would be repaid in dividends through the health and other benefits of more people cycling.

If the Council go ahead the bridge and A390 path could be in place by the end of next year which is the deadline for the European money. The detour section of the St Agnes to Chiverton route could serve as a short term measure until the Teagle Straight section is built with National Highways money, hopefully not long afterward.

Sign the petition!

Sign the Petition here and please share within your networks. Deadline for signatures is 15th May.

Thank you for your support.

 

 

Chiverton bridge 1.jpg

View of Chiverton bridge taken from planning application images. This would be on the direct alignment of the B3277/A390 next to Starbucks cafe.

St Agnes folk.jpeg

Rally at Chiverton 2018

Cycling for the kids.jpeg

Rally at Chiverton 2018

annotated route map.jpg

Council route map annotated by TCC to show location of the underpass (tunnel)

Underpass.jpg

New underpass in position late 2021.  The current roundabout can be seen in the top of the photo.  This shows the the isolated position of the underpass, its length, and its distance from the B3277/A390 direct alignment.

Underpass 4.jpg

Mouth of the new underpass - more like a tunnel.  Although it will be lit the tunnel will be intimidating to use.

underpass side view.jpg

This distance shot of the underpass shows the splays at the St Agnes end.  These will add to the feeling of enclosed length.

Underpass at Roseworthy, near Connor Downs. Although the new underpass will be lit this gives an impression of how it might feel to cycle through its long, constricted space. This underpass is approx. 58m long so just 3/4 the length of the A30 underpass.

Truro Main  cropped.jpg

Rally on Lemon Quay 2018

hashtag.jpeg

Rally at Chiverton 2018