A30 improvement scheme

Kier has been awarded a new £33m highways contract to dual the A30 between Temple and Higher Carblake in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council will part-fund and deliver the project in conjunction with the Highways Agency. Work began in March 2015 and is expected to take 22 months, with the new road open to the public in early 2017.

The scheme will dual the last section of single carriageway on the A30 between the M5 at Exeter and the Carland Cross junction with the A39 north of Truro (approx.4.5km). The improvements have been designed to ease congestion, increase the reliability of journeys and make it easier to travel across this busy part of the region. However, whilst improvement works are taking place there are a number of messages to communicate to visitors to Cornwall to minimise travel disruption. We would welcome your help in letting your customers know the following:

Significant traffic management measures will be introduced from 29 June, these will include:

  • Overnight closures of the A30 to prepare the road for traffic management, install average speed cameras etc. These will initially be between 8.00pm and 6.00am the following morning on the nights of Monday 29 June to Friday 3 July (incl.) and Monday 6 July. The diversion route will be via the A395/A39 through Camelford.
  •  A 40 mph speed limit, enforced by Average Speed Cameras. This is because drivers will have to negotiate narrow driving lanes and there will be operatives working close by.
  • A general ban on right turn or carriageway crossing movements to and from side roads. This will avoid stoppage and thus maintain a smooth flow of traffic on the trunk road.
  •  A cycling ban for the duration of the works, with a clearly signed diversion route provided. With the narrow driving lanes there would be a significant safety hazard for cyclists who would also impede the flow of traffic.

Whilst the dualling of this pinch point on the trunk road will be very much welcomed by those who have experienced delays in the past, there may be some questions asked:

Why are you starting work just as we go into the summer holiday period?  
The project would always take in two summers. The Secretary of State for Transport gave his approval to proceed with the work in early February, following which there had to be a six week ‘cooling off period’ to allow for any legal challenges. Various environmental/ecological works adjacent to the highway had to be undertaken before work could commence. Construction is therefore starting at the earliest possible opportunity.

Why are you imposing a 40 mph speed limit when there are traffic jams in the summer with a 60 mph speed limit?
Unfortunately, until the dual carriageway is in operation, there will still be congestion because of the volumes of traffic during the summer months, but it is not anticipated that the reduction in speed limit will exacerbate the situation; in fact it is believed that, together with the right hand turn band, there will be a ‘smoothing’ effect on traffic flow which may well improve matters slightly.

There are two key messages to communicate to visitors:

1. Times to avoid this section of the A30 in the summer months if possible:

  • Westbound: Saturdays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Eastbound: Fridays & Saturdays 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Avoidance can be achieved by adjusting travel times to suit, or by using the A38 or A39 roads.

2. In essence, it is believed that the works are not going to make the 2015 summer traffic situation any worse than normal, but that they will make matters slightly better from summer 2016 with the scheme completed well in time for the summer of 2017

For more information, visit the Highways England website.