CORNWALL was given an early Christmas present today after the Government announced it would give financial backing to plans to dual the A30 coming into Cornwall.
The announcement came after a long campaign by local councillors, Cornwall Council and local MPs all calling for the bottleneck at Temple to be widened.
Chancellor George Osborne included the project in a national programme of road improvements announced in his Autumn statement this afternoon.
Cornwall Council earlier this year put forward a proposal whereby it would provide part of the funding for the A30 project if the Government agreed to provide match funding.
The plan was put forward after the Government indicated that it would be unable to provide all the funding required for the scheme.
Cornwall councillor Mick Martin, who has led the campaign to get the road dualled and chairs the A30 Action Group, welcomed the news.
He said: "Traffic congestion on the main roads in and out of Cornwall is a huge issue for holiday makers, local residents and businesses.
"Not only will the council's innovative proposals help address this congestion and improve the lives of many thousands of people, it will do so at a much lower cost to tax payers and in a much shorter time than these projects usually take."
North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson said of the announcement: "I have campaigned to get this stretch of the A30 dualled since before my election as MP in 2005. We refused to let things drop and with hard work, an excellent business case, together with a listening government, we will now see the scheme delivered.
"I'd like to thank Mick Martin and the local Temple to Bodmin A30 Action Group and of course all those officers at Cornwall Council who worked on this more efficient and less costly design.
"This fantastic news will make the road safer, will be good for business and good for local communities, particularly during this tough economic period."
Chris Pomfret, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said that the project would provide a boost to businesses across the county.
He said: "This scheme will play a vital role in the future prosperity of Cornwall by encouraging economic growth, aiding regeneration and business expansion and supporting tourism.
"As well as providing transport benefits in excess of £154m by reducing congestion and delays it will create benefits of more than £117m for the Cornish economy. Cornwall is a great place to do business and these improvements will encourage inward investment and help existing businesses access bigger markets and improve exports to the rest of the UK and beyond."