‘Cubert crossroads accident blackspot solution unacceptable’
COUNCILLORS and residents have urged highways bosses to rethink plans to alter an accident blackspot, describing the solution as "unacceptable".
Concerned Cubert residents packed into the village hall on Wednesday to hear of the new plans for the A3075 junction.
But they were left flabbergasted after hearing that the current acceleration and deceleration lanes for the Cubert and St Newlyn East junction – known locally as Cubert crossroads – were to be scrapped.
Their anger was compounded after learning that a roundabout would not be considered due to the junction's location on the crest of a hill. Council chairman Alan Percy also criticised Cornwall Council and its contractors Cormac, accusing highways boss Adrian Roberts of "ducking it" after he failed to attend the meeting, sending one of his staff along to face councillors and residents instead.
Nicky Smale, from Cormac, who attended in his place, said the junction's current layout was problematic.
"If this [junction] was going to be built today it wouldn't be built like this," she told the meeting.
The current acceleration and deceleration lanes, allowing traffic to move off the main highway when coming from Truro and Newquay, will be scrapped.
But councillors said the lanes are well used and allow traffic to join the A3075 away from the busy junction, helping to alleviate congestion and the risk of accidents.
However, Ms Smale said the lanes were not used frequently and that by removing them drivers would have to reduce their speed on the main highway, to allow vehicles to turn off, and the number of accidents would therefore decrease.
Council chairman Mr Percy said: "You are actually going to reduce accidents by causing congestion on the A3075? By getting rid of them [acceleration and deceleration lanes] it is not going to make it easier for people to get out of the junction."
Between January 2008 and May 2011 there were seven reported accidents at the junction, including one fatality.
Cubert resident Martin South said: "This is a piecemeal solution; the real solution is something the council can't afford – and that's a roundabout.
"You will spend a lot of money on this scheme but you will be back changing it in a short space of time. This is not an acceptable solution."
Adrian Roberts, project manager for Cormac, said he had made the parish council aware that he may not be able to attend the meeting in person.
He added: "I quite understand the council's concerns about not being able to turn right when coming from Cubert.
"But our scheme is not focusing on that. It is being driven by the need to reduce the number of accidents there and to make the junction more standardised."
As part of the works the council also plans to:
Redesign the Cubert arm of the junction to a 'standard' design – including a central splitter island.
Extend the double white lines to prevent vehicles crossing lanes at inappropriate locations.
Consolidate direction and tourist signs.