A Public Meeting held at the Village Hall on Saturday 30th September 2017
Notes regarding views from the public on the desirability, or otherwise, of a bypass for Grampound (attended by approx. 100 residents).
Mr Mark Taylor, Chair of Grampound with Creed Parish Council opened the meeting by welcoming all in attendance. He asked other Parish Councillors in the hall present to stand, just to make themselves known to residents.
The intention of this meeting was to purely ascertain whether residents wanted the Parish Council to explore the possibilities of a bypass for Grampound.
“When Probus and Sticker were by-passed some fifteen years ago, there were also plans discussed to by-pass Grampound. It always seemed odd to me that the other two by-passes were built with no firm plan for a Grampound by-pass. It was also debateable how serious Grampound’s by-pass proposals were at the time, but in any event, they never went any further.
The level and speed of traffic on the main road has been a concern for some time. We have had various studies done that show speeding taking place through the village. Your Parish Council has sought solutions, notably a permanent 20 m.p.h. limit through the village and/or an average speed check. These proposals have been declined by Cornwall Council, both on cost grounds, and because of the importance of keeping traffic flowing on one of Cornwall’s main transport links. We managed to persuade the Council to install the Visor at the eastern entrance to the village. This has had some success in reducing speeding. A second Visor was installed with Parish Council and Garlennick wind turbine monies to try to reduce the incidence of cars accelerating as they passed the school and Old Hill before the end of the 30 m.p.h. zone. I’m pleased to say that this has also been successful. Speed is not the only issue. Due to the high level of pollution, both at the school end of the village but more seriously near the Bosillion Lane junction, Cornwall Council formally declared the Grampound Air Quality Management Area on 24th July. The problem seems likely to be created by diesel vehicles slowing and accelerating as they enter and leave the speed restricted area. CC must now produce an Action Plan of measures that could improve air quality in the village by next July. Once the action plan has been drafted CC will hold another public consultation to gain the views of local people.
Finally, the Parish Council has also sought to discourage vehicles following their SatNavs down Bosillion Lane.
All the above indicate that Grampound has issues with one of Cornwall’s main transport arteries running through the middle of its residential area. The road seems likely to get busier in the future.
The Parish Council have therefore arranged this public meeting to gauge whether you want us to do what we can to raise the profile of the issue with Cornwall Council and central government, and push for a by-pass, or whether you feel that the potential damage to the village created by a by-pass would be unacceptable.
Please understand, the Parish Council do not have a position on whether we should have a by-pass or not. Nor do we support any of the historic routes suggested. There have been significant changes which would affect the viability of the 2004 proposals.
Finally, this meeting is merely to investigate what views you have on the desirability of a Grampound by-pass, not on the specific route you would like it to go.
Thank you for coming and I’d welcome your contribution. There are also comments sheets on your chairs that can be placed in the box for us to review later”.
We will need a more formal consultation/referendum if the majority of the village decide they wish to pursue the idea of a by-pass.
Mark also mentioned the Parish Council do not support the suggested routes of 2004, they were attached just for information. Recent development has meant two proposals are now inappropriate, for example, because of the Tannery development.
Questions and answers:
- A comment was made that the PC were suggesting/offering something that could never be achieved. Mark responded that a previous review had got been extremely advanced before being shelved and that Central Government has, fairly recently, made funds available for road improvements, but as things stood Grampound would not be considered unless we put ourselves forward.
- A comment was made by a previous member of the Parish Council, saying regarding Mark’s first remark, the Parish Council at the time (2004) worked very hard regarding the Grampound by-pass. It became the number one agenda item, but ‘vanished’ off the list.
- Question – Could we have a true figure regarding the expected numbers of vehicles passing through the village, especially during the busiest months of Summer? Councillor Egerton replied: An increase is not anticipated over the next ten years. Levels have not increased in Cornwall.
- Comment: Although three proposals were shown on the map, the Southern Route never looked like a serious contender, for many reasons.
- Comment: A resident pointed out that he felt attaching the proposed routes to the flyer was not helpful. He felt many people would have supported a by-pass, however after seeing the routes from 2004 would decide against. Mark replied that wherever the by-pass goes it will affect some residents in a negative way.
- Question: What was the cost of the alternative options? Surely it would make more sense if we could have average speed cameras, if they were placed well outside the village, at a fraction of the cost? Around 75k?
- Question: Irrespective of route, how many people will be affected by the disruption of the building of a by-pass and how much compensation could they expect to receive? The County/Central Government would be building the by-pass. At present Grampound aren’t even on the list for building by-passes. Mark also made the point that he lives very close to the old proposed inner route and his property would be affected, however he would still go with the majority of the villagers wishes. Again, he pointed out this meeting is not about discussing routes or compensation etc. but just to gauge the feelings of the villagers.
- Question: How can we decide today if we don’t have all the facts? We need to know all the facts. There are no actual ‘facts’ at present, we are just here to decide whether or not to go forward with the proposal.
- Question: Looking at the list of previously proposed routes, the cheapest route comes out by the school. How would that help with pollution in the playground? Also, would it be possible for Cormac to do a fresh survey? The traffic is not actually that seasonal in Grampound. This has come from many surveys carried out in the past. The main problem is not the volume of traffic but the speeding through the village.
- Comment: A Parish Councillor commented that she has suggested on many occasions average speed cameras, positioned correctly outside the village, would cost a considerably less amount of money than a by-pass, it would reduce the speeding through the village. As at for example, the traffic passing through St Blazey Gate etc.
- Comment & Question: A resident wished to say thank you to the Parish Council for openly discussing this point with residents of the village. She said the principle is do we want a by-pass? We know we have a problem with traffic speeding through the village, could we not have more effort and resources put into funding average speed cameras? The A390 is an arterial route, but also the lifeblood of the village. Average speed cameras would help the problem immediately. Also, why are we off ‘the list’? Anecdotally business in Sticker and Probus do not seem affected by the by-pass.
- Question: If we were to come to a consensus we wanted a by-pass, would we be put back on the list? If the answer is ‘YES’, it would be the Parish Council’s intention to try to get us back on the list and if we get as far as new routes being proposed it would be brought back to residents for discussion. Cornwall Council would probably do a study regarding such things as: the fall in traffic numbers/air quality/the effect on businesses.
- Comment: Fourteen – Fifteen years ago the Parish Council had discussed this at length and it became one of Cornwall Council’s top 2 road priorities. Cornwall Council proposed it to central government for 2 or 3 years but it was rejected on the economic viability (the cost relating to the number of houses in Grampound). Cornwall Council decided not to propose it any further as they were concerned that continually proposing a by-pass which did not have central government support would jeopardise their other priority road improvements. If there is a suggestion by this Parish Council to take it back up to Cornwall Council are there any significant changes (air quality?). The only difference would be the views of the villagers and air quality.
- Question: I came to a meeting on air quality and remembered the County Council was to come up with a plan, what has happened in other villages? The real plan to reduce air pollution is primarily to get rid of diesel cars – this is not up to the Council but Government. It is worth noting that Tideford, with a busier road and more traffic passing through than us, have done nothing regarding a by-pass. They have twice as much traffic.
- Our MP, Steve Double addressed the room by saying that a few comments have been made today, but primarily this is a meeting to gauge whether or not residents want a by-pass. This is very much the first stage of a four to five year journey. If the answer is ‘No’, then fine. If the answer is ‘Yes’ then he will lobby central government for funding. There is money available, the Government is putting money into roads and with the right bid we could possibly get a by-pass. The routes shown are historic and the next step would be an extensive consultation.
- Question: Another resident again asked for average speed cameras. He made the point that whilst we are at the beginning of the journey, can we not lobby for average speed cameras? We might also look at large vehicles being diverted. Most HGVs will use the A30, they do not come through the village by choice. The majority of the lorries driving through the village are coming through as part of their journey i.e. from St Austell to Truro. We all depend upon HGVs to deliver what we buy in supermarkets etc. There isn’t an easy way to divert them away from the village.
- Comment: There is a good community spirit in Grampound, but walking along the pavements (for example to the school) is dangerous. It’s surprising that there’s not been an accident already.
- Comment: It must be noted again that the Parish Council of fourteen years ago put a lot of ground work into having a by-pass and all this was discussed previously without knowing where the route would be.
Mark then asked if we could have a ‘straw poll’ by a show of hands.
- A resident thought we could not have a vote as people are unsure and cannot make a judgement as they don’t have all the facts. Mark again clarified that we cannot have proposed routes at this stage.
- If the majority give a ‘yes’ vote, can the process be stopped? Yes
The question was then asked “Who is in Favour of the Parish Council commencing the process of trying to get a by-pass for Grampound”?
A Straw Poll was then taken by a show of hands.
There were a few “not sure” votes. Of the remainder, approx. 2/3rds were in favour and 1/3rd against. Mark then commented that there was enough interest to seek a full mandate from the Parish and he would propose a full referendum. He also invited the use of the comments sheets for residents to pass on their views.
Mark then gave his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
should anyone have further questions or queries.
Subsequent to the meeting, the comments left by the meeting showed 14 in favour 20 against and 5 not sure.