Funding allocated to improve Cornwall public transport

£50 million has been allocated to transform public transport links in Cornwall through the mid-Cornwall Metro Scheme.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper met with local leaders including St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double at Newquay Station on 27 March. They discussed progress on the major improvement project which aims to better connect residents to employment, business and education opportunities.

It is hoped the first benefits of the scheme will be delivered by May next year and it will be fully complete by the end of 2025.

The scheme will offer a new hourly coast-to-coast train service between Cornwall’s largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth.  

It will also bring infrastructure enhancements along the Newquay rail line including a second platform at Newquay station and an additional ‘passing loop’ on the tracks to increase capacity and allow extra services to run.  

There will be modern, more convenient digital ticketing, which will allow passengers to ‘tap-in’ and ‘tap-out’.

Delivered in partnership between Cornwall Council, Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail, it is hoped the scheme will double the number of rail services between Newquay and Par, adding an extra 700,000 seats per year.

There will also be level crossing upgrades and signalling improvements.

Network Rail’s western route director, Marcus Jones, said: "Our recently completed track and signalling upgrade in Devon and Cornwall has unlocked the door to the development of the mid-Cornwall Metro, which will help more people than ever before travel by train.

"Not only will the scheme provide coast-to-coast travel with an hourly direct train service connecting Newquay, Par, St Austell, Truro, Penryn and Falmouth, it will also improve safety and accessibility. Enabling easier travel by train will also help to cut congestion on our roads, reducing carbon emissions.

"We’re really looking forward to starting work later this year to deliver this exciting project with our partners at Cornwall Council and GWR."

Transport secretary, Mark Harper, said: "It’s very encouraging to see the momentum building behind the mid-Cornwall Metro Scheme, an important project that’s part of our plan to improve local transport in Cornwall.

"Thanks to this government’s investment, passengers in Cornwall will experience a more frequent rail service that’s fit for the future."

The scheme also aims to encourage walking and cycling by delivering active travel improvements in and around stations including new cycle parking, bike hire options, widened footpaths and better crossing points.

Councillor Richard Williams-Pears, cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: "The mid-Cornwall Metro underlines our commitment to provide a thriving and sustainable Cornwall, fit for the modern world, for the benefit of our residents.

"This initiative is absolutely key to delivering rail and active travel improvements across Cornwall both now and in the future, to enhance the lives of our residents by revolutionising how we can navigate across the Duchy.

"The council and the government recognise the importance of this initiative to enable a levelling up of the local economy and future sustainable growth and investment in mid-Cornwall."


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