Cornwall Council has given the green light to a £56.8 million project to transform transport links in mid Cornwall. The project, known as the Mid Cornwall Metro, will create a sustainable transport corridor through central Cornwall by improving the current links between four of the county's largest towns: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn.
The project will be delivered in partnership with GWR and Network Rail. Work to increase the capacity on the line will require some structural improvements. A new platform at Newquay Rail Station and a brand new passing loop at Tregoss Moor will be built. Once the passing loop is operational, it will double the number of rail services between Newquay and Par in south Cornwall. Alongside the line improvements, tap-on/tap-off Pay-As-You-Go ticketing will be implemented throughout Cornwall for the first time.
The Mid Cornwall Metro project hopes to reduce journey times and traffic in the region. "We are committed to providing a thriving and sustainable Cornwall, fit for the modern world, for the benefit of our residents”, said Councillor Richard Williams-Pears, the council's portfolio holder for transport.
“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."
Network Rail has recently been preparing for the Mid Cornwall Metro, carrying out a £60 million project of level crossing upgrades in the region. This has included resignalling sections in Lostwithiel and Truro, including installing 90 signals and relaying 100 kilometres of new fibre cable.
Matt Barnes, GWR head of strategic service development, said: "This is really exciting news and we look forward to working with our partners to start delivering the Mid Cornwall Metro initiative, which is going to be truly transformative for the whole of the region."
Bogdan Lupu, Network Rail industry programme director, said: "This is exciting news for Cornwall and we're looking forward to helping deliver more trains in the county. Mid Cornwall Metro will transform the way people get around Cornwall and encourage sustainable travel."
Photo Credit: Network Rail