A plan to improve the railways linking Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall has won funding of almost £50 million from the government’s Levelling-Up fund. The total cost has been put at £56.8 million, and this will include £2.71 million from the council, with the balance coming from other funders.
The Mid Cornwall Metro will provide hourly through trains on the route, which serves four of Cornwall’s largest towns.
The work will include longer platforms at two Falmouth stations to take three-car trains, as well as a second platform at Newquay and a new crossing place on the Newquay branch at Tregoss Moor.
Falmouth is Cornwall's main university town, but there is a smaller university campus in Newquay and higher education colleges in St Austell and Truro. All the sites will be within 15 minutes’ walk of Mid Cornwall Metro stations.
Other improvements include a new signalling panel at Goonbarrow on the Newquay branch, as well as a general upgrade of Newquay station, including ticket machines, platform canopies, toilets and a larger station concourse, as well as landscaping of the street outside, ebike hire and a new bus interchange which would offer direct road links to Cornwall Airport Newquay.
MP Steve Double, who represents St Austell and Newquay, said: ‘It’s great news to today have confirmation of our successful bid to the Levelling Up Fund for the Mid-Cornwall Metro.
‘We have been working together on this along with Cornwall Council for a number of years and we’d like to thank the council’s team and in particular Cabinet Member for the Economy Cllr Louis Gardner for their efforts in putting together such a strong bid. The Mid-Cornwall Metro project will allow residents of Newquay and the communities along the lines to not only have a direct route to Falmouth but also to the main line and beyond, and also provide economic benefit in allowing quicker, easier access for commuters and visitors coming into the area.’
Cornwall Council has calculated that 180,000 people would live no more than 4km from an MCM station and 280,000 within 10km, while the urban cores of Newquay, St Austell, Truro and Falmouth account for more than a fifth of the population of Cornwall between them.