No Bodmin link road could spell end of multimillion-pound plans
PEOPLE in Bodmin showed their strong opposition to a new link road cutting across Priory Park when 500 demonstrators turned out on Saturday in protest against it.
Cornwall Council has come up with the proposal as a formula for making the town centre a traffic-free zone as part of a multimillion-pound regeneration programme.
However, many residents are opposing plans for a road that would cut a swathe through the town's central greenfield site and showed their feelings with a protest march.
They also voiced opposition to any plans by Sainsbury's to build a supermarket on the Priory Park pitch of Bodmin Town football club.
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Under its Bodmin Town Framework initiative, the local authority sees the new road from Priory Road to St Nicholas Street as the key to freeing up traffic in the town centre, improving air quality along Dennison Road and allowing the expansion of St Petroc's Primary School.
But campaigners are hoping the strength of opposition shown on Saturday may now kill off the link road scheme.
One of the organisers of the protest march, Vicky Gynn, said it was a fantastic turnout.
"It was hugely encouraging to see so many people demonstrating, and hopefully Cornwall Council will listen to the people of Bodmin who don't want a road cutting through an historic and beautiful green area of the town.''
Mrs Gynn said her action group will continue to fight the link road.
"We have petitions around the town and we are telling everyone to write to Cornwall Council before the consultation deadline in two weeks.''
Bodmin Chamber of Commerce chairman Chris Wilkes warned that unless an alternative route can be found, abandoning the link road scheme could spell the end of £14 million of investment earmarked for the town.
"Bodmin has not had this kind of investment opportunity for many years, and you can be sure that the money will bypass the town and instead go to places like Launceston, Indian Queens and St Austell unless we support what the council is trying to achieve. If people have ideas for an alternative, then the council needs to hear about them,'' said Mr Wilkes.
It was announced this week that residents are to have another chance to put their views forward next month, after an earlier public consultation exercise left residents frustrated at the lack of detail being supplied.
A Cornwall Council spokeswoman said: "The level of interest shown in the framework consultation document and the future of the town has been pleasing and Cornwall Council is committed to working with local residents and the town council to understand any concerns and to continue to work to deliver the best solution for Bodmin."
The council added it would announce the date for the meeting in due course.