Moorswater viaduct at sunrise on a beautiful winter morning, Cornwall, UK, via Istock

Mid Cornwall Metro secures £50m in Levelling Up funding

Following yesterday’s major Levelling Up funding announcement, the government has pledged an almost £50m grant to improve the railways linking Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall.

This financial aid to improve Cornwall Rail links represents the only successful bid out of four that were submitted to the Levelling up funding. The improvement scheme will be helmed by a partnership with Great Western Railway and Network Rail.

Total costs for this scheme’s delivery are estimated at £56.8 million, seeing a partial funding amount of £2.71 million from Cornwall council, with the outstanding balance being provided through other funders.

The Mid Cornwall Metro will serve the community through the provision of hourly trains on the route, serving the four largest towns in Cornwall. Works will see the installation of longer platforms at two Falmouth stations to take three-car trains, accompanied by a second platform at Newquay and a new crossing place on the Newquay branch at Tregoss Moor.

Benefits from this Metro service will include:

  • Hourly direct service connecting Newquay, Par, St Austell, Truro, Penryn and Falmouth.
  • Doubling of services from Newquay to Par – an extra 700,000 seats per year both ways.
  • All year local services; Local and long-distance services operating concurrently along the Newquay branch.
  • Summer mid-week, additional daily Newquay to London services.
  • Increased frequency of mainline rail services between Par, St Austell and Truro.
  • Improved accessibility and interchange at Par Station.
  • Potential 25% increased capacity between Truro and Falmouth.

The South West of England has long needed investment into rail services, as small towns have been burdened with transport related social exclusion, limiting resident’s access to jobs, skills, education, and amenities in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the UK.

This Levelling Up investment accompanied with recent projects such as the revitalisation of Oakhampton station, in Devon, will have transformative effects for rail travel in the South West, opening new doors for work and socialising opportunities for individuals and companies.

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