Cornish motorists say they have never seen anything quite like tonight’s traffic

Thats the news headline from the West Briton

Heavy levels of summer traffic are being reported all across Cornwall tonight – with some motorists saying they have never seen anything like it.

Vehicles are reported to be stuck in stop-start traffic in all the usual hot-spots, including Penzance, Newquay, Truro, Bodmin and St Austell.

One held-up motorist added: “The traffic has been bad recently, but tonight is especially bad.

“There has been endless queues of stop-start traffic all day long, particularly this evening.”

Others have told us how it has taken them well over an hour to complete journeys from Truro to Falmouth and Redruth to Penzance.


Anger and surprise may well be the main responses of motorists.

But increasing congestion should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Congestion has increased and will increase because:

The population is going up. More housebuilding has resulted in more people moving to Cornwall and that means more cars;
As towns extend outwards people are further away from facilities and car use goes up;
More out-of-town retail parks – leading to more traffic;
An extension of shop opening hours – resulting in more traffic
An increase in events which draw people in to an area – invariably by car;
An increasing propensity to travel – for evenings out, to pick up a snack;
A tourism sector which is car dependent.

Building more roads is not the answer, making constant changes to road junctions is both expensive and largely pointless. Schemes to encourage walking and cycling ignore the reality that many of the people travelling are not local residents.

So what is to be done?

Lets wait and look at the options.


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