No – dualling is not the answer!

The ‘West Briton’ newspaper reported on proposals for more dualling of the A30 last week. The question was posed –

Could dualling plans spell the end for A30 chaos between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross?

The short answer is no, but some more extracts from the article:-

PLANS to relieve one of the most congested stretches of the A30 near Truro could become reality with a new £112 million project.

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton is meeting Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin today to press the Government to support plans for the dualling of the entire stretch between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross.

The project would see 12.5km of the carriageway dualled, as well as improvements to junctions, cycle links and signage.

The current single carriageway section of the road is one of the most congested roads in Cornwall and is estimated to cost the economy £2.9m a year.

There are fears that congestion could increase once work to dual the A30 in the east of the county at Temple is completed.

Read more:

Doubtless some readers will think that ‘common sense’ tells us that dualling a road will reduce congestion, but ‘common sense’ is often a poor guide in these matters.

Dualling the A30 has been a cherished dream for many years. As time has gone by various sections have been dualled on the grounds that congestion will be reduced. Yet after each section of road has been dualled, congestion still appears, followed by calls for more dualling. The seemingly plausible reason being that until all of the road is dualled congestion will still exist!

So how come dualling is not the answer?

There are several factors here:

New road space generates extra traffic, yes if there is more space available then there are more cars on the road. This is partly due to a perception that the road will be less congested and therefore people make extra trips.

As population increases the number of car trips made increases.

New development especially adjacent to roads generates additional traffic. The retail park outside Hayle, where M&S and Next are located generates extra traffic on the A30 and this adds to congestion!

Events – every time an event is held – surfing competitions at Newquay, Falmouth week at Falmouth – traffic is generated.

Now in the short-term congestion eases, but it does not take long before a road is just as busy as it was before due to the factors outlined above. This summer has already seen traffic building up on Goss Moor as people poured into Newquay. As traffic levels rise whether long-term or short-term – wet weather for instance leading to more tourists visiting towns, then congestion results.

There is considerable evidence that new roads, bypasses etc do not relieve congestion. A good example is here:

£112 million could be better spent on alternative transport!


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