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Truro traffic gridlock caused by Trafalgar roundabout scheme working "too well"

By WBMiles  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

Truro traffic gridlock caused by Trafalgar roundabout scheme working "too well".

Comments (13)

A traffic improvement scheme which has resulted in gridlock on roads in Truro was working “too well” according to Cornwall Council.

The massive Trafalgar roundabout scheme - with an initial budget of £2.25 million - has introduced a third lane and was designed to “improve traffic flow and access for pedestrians and cyclists”.

But the controversial scheme, including provision for buses to cut across the main dual carriageway into Quay Street, has left drivers in the area locked in huge traffic tailbacks.

Cornwall Council refused to say how much the project had cost and said the project was performing “better than anticipated”.

Mary Oram, who lives on Malpas Road near the roundabout, said: “Lights are getting stuck, queues are worse than ever at peak periods and Malpas Road drivers are blocked from crossing over to the centre by queues of mainstream traffic.

“Drivers confused by the lack of signposting get in the wrong lanes and everyone is frustrated by long delays at the traffic lights.”

Since the new traffic lights for the bus gate on Morlaix Avenue came into operation at the beginning of January commuters have on occasions faced tailbacks stretching from Trafalgar back to Arch Hill and beyond.

The scheme was introduced to prepare for the new park-and-ride to be built at the top of Tregolls Road with a Waitrose store.

But the project was dogged by controversy as nine months of noisy night-time work left Cornwall Council forking out for hotel stays and made-to-measure soundproofing curtains for residents who could not sleep.

Drivers were then less than impressed when the new roundabout opened in November with motorists branding it a “white-knuckle ride” and the council admitting there were “teething problems”.

The West Briton asked Cornwall Council if it was now happy with the impact of the Trafalgar roundabout scheme on traffic in the city.

A council spokesman said: “Upon initial commissioning Trafalgar was operating too well for A39 traffic flows and, through a period of signal adjustments, the opposing junction flows have been balanced, in combination with road marking changes to improve lane discipline.

“Traffic flows on Morlaix Avenue will always be heavy in the morning because traffic is accessing the same destinations. Trafalgar is performing better than anticipated and is expected to provide at least a 10 per cent capacity benefit through the junction overall.”

The spokesman said the traffic was being made worse by the South West Water and Wales and West Utilities works on the other side of the city that have closed roads.

The West Briton asked repeatedly for the final cost of the roundabout but Cornwall Council did not provide a response.

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  • 2BFW2  |  February 02 2014, 12:57PM

    Trafalgar roundabout is a complete disaster, why is there not a queue for Tesco roundabout or the top of Falmouth road roundabout, there is not the same queues but the same volume of traffic so it must be the lights which someone with half a brain should be able to correct. The roundabout does look very pretty and you have plenty of time to sit and admire it...unfortunately. I also agree it is so much quieter during the school holidays.

    |   -2
  • simonsays50  |  February 01 2014, 1:14PM

    has anyone travelled through Trafalgar roundabout during the school holidays? bliss! no queues, no traffic, straight through. 80% of the traffic sat in the queues is parents doing the school run, more often than not just with a lone child sat next to them. what would solve this problem is if they all let their kids go to school by bus or by walking . contrary to the scaremongering of the tabloid press, the world isn't full of deviants who want to grab your child, and little Johnny won't die if he steps out in the rain! all my four children went to penair, from penelewey, via school bus or public transport and they were all perfectly happy doing so. stop wasting your time and everyone elses and stop this pointless school run!

    |   5
  • bilspe  |  January 30 2014, 10:55PM

    I think you have to remember that all the congestion in Truro (or anywhere else for that matter) is not just people doing their shopping. I reckon the largest part is people simply travelling to and from work and generally going about their business aside from just shopping. I agree that st Austell needs better shops and perhaps some development but my gripe is about over development in general, throughout the whole of Cornwall and not just Truro. If Truro keeps expanding with more shops and developments I'm not so sure that everyone will shop there because the parking and congestion will be such a nightmare they'll want to avoid it. I have to say personally I cant stand shopping in town centres and although I hate to say this, it's the internet for me ! Much less stressful and alot cheaper

    |   3
  • clairebbb  |  January 30 2014, 9:56PM

    @MarjProops, I've heard that people in St. Austell are now going to boycott Truro in favour of shopping out of county in Plymouth & Exeter. Therefore, Truro should see a massive reduction in its inflow of traffic. If this is not true and St.Austell folk are still going to flock to Truro for its decent shopping, then your comment on a bigger park and ride is a very valid one. I suggest building it in St.Austell, haha, maybe at Coyte Farm where we were supposed to be getting the sort of shops we keep driving to Truro for!!!

    |   4
  • Woodrock  |  January 30 2014, 9:00PM

    I would like to reclassify Morlaix Avenue as a short stay car park. At least that's what it feels like when trying to cross Truro in the mornings... :-(

    |   5
  • MarjProops  |  January 30 2014, 8:28PM

    @ bilspe I think you'll find that most of the development is going on in Truro. People in St Austell can't get a look in as it would have a detrimental impact on Truro according to Cllr Rob Nolan and Cornwall Council Planning Committee. All we in St Austell want is some decent shops and a few jobs for our youngsters but Cllr Nolan and his committee are more concerned that businesses in Truro would loose out. On the face of it that might be a good thing as it would alleviate the traffic congestion in there.

    |   5
  • bilspe  |  January 30 2014, 7:39PM

    All this development going on........ supermarkets, stadium, new homes, out of town shopping etc etc and we wonder why we've got a traffic problem ! Rate we're going, Cornwall is going to be concrete from coast to coast and no amount of alterations to roundabouts or extra traffic lights is going to stop the congestion and chaos on the roads.

    |   9
  • Doitdreckley  |  January 30 2014, 5:26PM

    You can't blame Biscoe as the Trafalgar scheme was being built before the council elections and he got his job. The reason it has happened is because "prince" Charles wanted a development and in our feudal system all us peasants whether you me or the man in the council has to do as he is told. The development means that the roads of Truro need more capacity.

    |   8
  • DipStick  |  January 30 2014, 11:52AM

    I've said it before but you'd have to ber a complete pillock to think that adding 24/7 traffic lights to a roundabout was going to improve traffic flow! Oh, it was the council's traffic "experts" that said that ..... DS

    |   12
  • Truro_England  |  January 30 2014, 10:09AM

    Its OK for Bert he doesn't even drive, no doubt our taxes pay for the odd taxi ride he may take. Like all Councillors, he's long at home shortly after 4pm while the rest of us are still at work then have to get stuck in this mess.

    |   22



      Has the Trafalgar roundabout scheme improved traffic flow in Truro?

      No: 77%

      77% of the vote

      Yes: 13%

      13% of the vote

      It has made no difference: 10%

      10% of the vote

      Poll is closed