For me the jury is out

For me the jury is out

Written by admin

Topics: Councillors' Views

For me the jury is out: Council officers say:-

  1. Rail travel will be pursued but cost of re-opening stations is unaffordable in medium term and cannot be delivered by the Council alone.
  2. P&R on east will cost £7.5m, of which £2m is from EU.
  3. If Truro delay the EU money may need to go elsewhere to avoid Cornwall losing it altogether.
  4. The cost of P&R sites to north and east (including running costs and bus priority measures from, say, Trispen/ Probus) is unaffordable/impractical.
  5. The Council cannot compulsory purchase land from the Duchy, which is obliged by law to act on a commercial basis.

I am in touch with Sarah Newton MP as to whether we can persuade Duchy to drop housing and to put Waitrose (a major draw in its own right) on a different site. I would like to get an Eastern Park and Ride.


Fiona Ferguson CC


1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Bert Biscoe says:

    BERT BISCOE, 3 Lower Rosewin Row, Truro TR1 1EN, KERNOW

    9th May 2011

    Fiona Ferguson suggests that the ‘cost of re-opening stations is unaffordable in the medium term and cannot be delivered by the Council alone’.

    The ‘cost of re-opening stations’ is quite reasonable when you compare it, mile by mile, with building new roads. It depends upon the priorities we set, the degree to which we take seriously the climate change imperative, and the relationship which the Council, as a key partner, develops with Network Rail and the Department of Transport.

    What is ‘affordable’ depends upon priorities, and, as the era of environmentally and financially expensive personal mobility draws to its indulgent close, we must think ahead – if the impacts of peak oil, materials depletion and climate change are acute, then our priorities will be changing (as, indeed, they are) and key rail projects will become ‘affordable’ – not because they are any less expensive but because they will be our priority.

    Truro’s argument is that, with the pressure we are under, and the over-development with which we are threatened, the priority, indeed the inevitable priority (if all this development goes ahead) must be to use the railway to its fullest potential.

    Cornwall has an excellent track-record in working with Network Rail on new projects. Both the Probus Burngullow dualling and the Penryn passing-place have been outstanding projects, both cost effective and both well-engineered, well-managed and productive. There is no reason – other than a lack of will on behalf of the Council – why the ongoing St Erth Park & Ride scheme (to serve both Penzance and St Ives) should not go ahead; or why a scheme for which early feasibility work has already been done, to run frequent shuttles between Camborne and St Austell, utilising new and (Beeching-cut) disused halts,and making best use of the main line.

    We should not be bashful about having schemes to re-lay Newquay – Perranporth – St Agnes – Chacewater – Truro with thirty years (a relatively modest plan period for such projects). There are already people working towards a re-introduction of the Helston branch line, and it can only be a matter of time before Bodmin girds its loins to re-connect its bravely and tenaciously preserved branch line to the public service schedule.

    It is vitally important that we do not allow a short period of financial stringency (the current plan runs to 2015) to discourage us from planning ahead. Nothing is impossible – how does Fiona Ferguson think the Cornish built their railways in the first place? – and it is important to know what we want to do, prepare practical and positive plans and be in a position to respond when resources become available.
    Of course Cornwall Council can’t develop the rail network alone – but it is the public body with the responsibility for shaping Cornwall’s direction of travel – and we will travel nowhere in carbon-free times without forethought and the railway.

    The Eastern park and ride is, on the admission of Cornwall Council’s senior transport engineers, only a temporary expedient. That is why it should be designed (like Threemilestone) to revert to productive agricultural use as soon as possible)and not permanently scarred and overlaid by buildings and a polite scrapyard!

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