Residents are being asked for their views on plans to improve walking and cycling routes in Truro.
The proposals, which will be delivered through Cornwall Council and are supported by ERDF funding, include making improvements to the Newham Trail and its links with Truro City Centre as well as improving access to the trail from the western side of Truro near New County Hall.
The planned improvements are the first phase of the Truro Loops project – a long held ambition of the local community to reconnect the city to its river and marine heritage, showcase its beautiful environment and celebrate its rich urban fabric. It is hoped that this will support and encourage more people to make journeys on foot or by bike, getting out into nature or exploring less-known areas of Truro.
Photograph supplied by TRWG CIC
The works subject to this consultation aim to improve connectivity, interpretation and signage so more people can benefit from the Newham Trail route alongside Calenick Creek through woodland and countryside, only a few minutes from the city centre. Other improvements include better crossing points and junctions supporting pedestrians and cyclists in the city centre, to support people exploring the city environment and making it easier to navigate for visitors and residents.
The wider Truro Loops idea was first developed by Truro River Working Group CIC, a community-based organisation working to reconnect the river with the city and making Truro’s environment more accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Truro Loops seeks to connect six trails in, across, and around Truro which can be accessed by bike or on foot, including a river loop and the Newham Trail. Many elements of the trails are already in place and some, like the Newham Trail, are already used by cyclists, walking families, runners and dog-walkers.
Beyond this first phase, the wider vision for Truro Loops includes a bridge at Lighterage Quay, connecting Boscawen Park and Newham as part of a river loop, which is being put forward as part of the Town Deal Fund bid. Other aspects of Truro Loops are hoped to be included in the Truro Transport Strategy and the Green Transport ambitions for Truro under different funding streams in the future. The first phase of implementation covered by this consultation will be a first step to encourage sustainable travel and recreation in Truro, supporting people to live healthier, walk and cycle more, to explore the natural and city environment.
Sue Brown, a member of TRWG CIC, said: “TRWG CIC are so proud and excited that our Truro Loops project is becoming a reality through the first phase improvements to Newham Trail, delivered through Cornwall Council. Our volunteers have been working tirelessly since 2016 to define the idea, procure a Feasibility Study, raise the profile of the project and promote the essential pedestrian and cycle bridge link at Lighterage Quay to link Boscawen Park and Newham to be included in the Town Deal Fund bid. Truro’s river environment and its beautiful centre are a step closer to be reconnected, with more people of all ages and abilities being empowered to appreciate these assets encouraging them to live a better and healthier life.”
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “The proposals developed by Truro River Working Group will bring significant benefits for the city and its residents, both when built and well into the future. Improving links with the commercial area of Newham will also benefit those wanting to cycle from the surrounding villages.
“Research shows that one in every three journeys made by car are of less than 5km and we want to support measures that give people more options for how they make those journeys. The changes we make now will have long lasting benefits, helping to keep us healthier for longer, improving the air we breathe and combat climate change.”
The Truro Loops, walking and cycling improvements to the Newham Trail and City Centre connections are being funded by the Council’s Local Transport Plan and the European Regional Development Fund.
Story posted November 3, 2021