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News Archive > General > Minister backs link road

Minister backs link road

By Natasha Swift 10th May 2017

Minister backs link road
IN TOWN: Chris Grayling with Steve Double

THE MAN in charge of the country’s transport came to St Austell to see for himself just how desperately the town needs a link road to the A30.  

The Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, was due to come to St Austell in a few weeks time to discuss the next step for creating a new link road between the town and the A30, but the snap General Election planned for June 8 pushed his visit forward to Wednesday.

Just 24 hours after the Prime Minister Theresa May visited Mevagissey, Mr Grayling stopped off in the town centre where he spoke to the Voice on his way to visit the proposed site of the A30 link road.

He said Steve Double, who is fighting to retain his seat as St Austell’s MP, had been biting at his ankles to push ahead with building the road.  

Roche has been chosen as the option for the multi million pound project aimed at improving employment, housing and regeneration in the area.  

Cornwall Council is proposing to create the 6.2km link road to the west of Roche as it said poor connectivity was causing a major block to economic growth in St Austell.

In March members of Cornwall Council’s cabinet gave their support to the proposals which will cost around £84.8m and see the new link road start at Singlerose Roundabout to the south of Stenalees, by-passing the west of Roche to link to the A30 via the Victoria junction.

In 2015 the Government announced its support for a route being created between the A30 and St Austell and the Department for Transport confirmed it would give £1.5m to develop a business case for the link road improvement.

Cornwall Council then began work on reviewing a number of road options.

From a list of eight potential road options, one east of Bugle and the other west of Roche were identified as the two preferred routes.

In February Cornwall Council’s Transport Advisory Policy Committee approved the recommended Roche option.

Mr Grayling told the Voice: “Steve has been making the case to make sure this scheme goes ahead as soon as possible. It is something we have done lots of work on and recognise the need for it and we will now have some discussions about the project.

“It is something Steve has been biting my ankles for regularly. It’s always much more useful if you can actually come and see what’s needed for yourself rather than looking at a bit of paper.

“This is not a visit that’s purely election I was coming in three weeks time anyway to do this it is just the election campaign has intervened.”

Mr Double said he would ensure the road was built as quickly as possible after nearly two decades of calls for a link to be put in place.

He explained: “I know it is something that people have wanted for 20 years or more and I’m delighted with the progress we have made in getting Cornwall Council to back it and the business case is now with the Department for Transport so it is now a great time for Chris to come and see for himself how important it is.

“If I am re-elected on June 8 then we can move ahead and hopefully get this road built quickly.”

Mr Grayling last visited St Austell in February 2015 as Justice Secretary when the town was one of the key battlegrounds in the country which the Conservatives needed to conquer in the General Election.

Mr Grayling said he had returned not only to discuss the link road but also to give his support to Mr Double with the pending election looming.

He said: “The Prime Minister and myself want to get a clear message across that Steve is a really important part of the team and we need him back in to provide support to Theresa May in leading us through the Brexit process.

“Particularly given the fact he is up against the former MP who is a strong supporter of Remain, but given that this is a constituency that voted overwhelmingly to leave I think it needs to keep Steve as its champion in supporting Theresa as she goes through the process rather than having somebody who wants to open the issue all over again.”

By Natasha Swift 10th May 2017

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