FEWER than 2 per cent of Bodmin’s population responded to a survey that could decide the fate of a controversial link road through Priory Road, it has emerged.
The Cornish Guardian understands that only 281 people responded to the survey, which asked town residents which of two future transport options they preferred.
But those who did cast their vote overwhelmingly supported an alternative scheme to the link road through Priory Park, with 70 per cent instead backing the simplification of Church Square.
The plans for the £14m link road brought out 500 marching protesters early last year, and a petition opposing the scheme also received more than 2,000 signatures.
An exhibition of the Bodmin Town Framework in October also attracted 560 visitors over two days.
However, Bodmin Town councillors said they don’t feel either of the options are long-term solutions to the town’s transportation concerns and would like further examinations of alternatives.
It is believed that a third option is also on the table, which would see one-way traffic directed through Priory Park via the Mount Folly entrance, along the existing football club car park and skatepark and out by the Launceston Road junction.
Town councillor Lance Kennedy believes a decision on the transportation options needs to be reached soon “for the good of future generations”.
He said: “The biggest danger is that Cornwall Council will chuck it all out and spend the money somewhere else, and we can’t afford that.
“We want a speedy resolution and we can’t drag it on forever. It’s just this one single issue and we have to get the emotion out of it.”
The business-led Better Bodmin organisation, which aims to influence the development of the town’s economy, considers the Church Square option a “stop-gap” and believes politics has had a major part to play in the entire process.
A spokesperson for the group said: “There has been too much political intervention rather than good sense, and option one is simply not fit for purpose for the long-term economic development of Bodmin. We do not wish to delay decisions but we do not want the wrong decisions to be made either.
“A third option, which would include a single lane, one-way system through Priory Park, allowing the retention of the football clubhouse and parking, appears to have been dismissed without investigation by Cornwall Council. The public have not seen the full picture and need to see this third option, which we believe would reduce pollution, increase traffic flow, reduce clogged roads and allow expansion of the school.”
Of the 281 people who responded to the survey, 196 were in favour of the alternative traffic management scheme, option one, which involves the simplification of Church Square, by taking out the roundabout and replacing it with a left-in, left-out junction from Turf Street, with a right turn for buses only. It has been estimated that this would cost £8m.
The remaining 85 people favoured the Priory link package, option two, which Cornwall Council first had originally earmarked as the best solution for improving the town centre.
Cornwall Council will consider the Bodmin Town Framework at its environment, heritage and planning portfolio advisory committee meeting on Friday.