Cornwall Council in the UK has given the green light for the Mid Cornwall Metro initiative to transform transport links across the region, with work due to start in 2024.
The project will work in partnership with the Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail, with the aim of encouraging sustainable travel across Cornwall.
Serving Cornwall’s largest towns, the coast-to-coast rail service will include Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn.
The initiative will feature an hourly direct train service connecting Newquay, Par, St Austell, Truro, Penryn and Falmouth as well as a doubling of the number of rail services between Newquay and Par.
Cllr Richard Williams-Pears, the Council’s transport portfolio holder, emphasised how this project is the next step in developing the transport system for Cornwall.
Pears said: “This initiative is key to delivering rail and active travel improvements across Cornwall both now and in the future, to enhance the lives of our residents by revolutionising how we can navigate across the Duchy [of Cornwall].
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“The Council has already successfully bid for £50 million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund, and we recognise the importance of this initiative to enable a levelling up of the local economy and future sustainable growth and investment in Mid Cornwall.
“As well as its green credentials and being a catalyst for economic growth and local regeneration around the stations, I see this as the beginning of a transport revolution for Cornwall with this being the Mid Cornwall section of the eventual Cornwall Metro.”
Cabinet members voted to accept the offer of £50m in Levelling Up Funding towards the delivery of the £56.8m Mid Cornwall Metro scheme.
The Cornish council emphasised how they are the “accountable body” for the project and aim to keep a “tight hold on the purse strings”.