Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Rail Authority Chairman Offers Vision and Funding for Cornwall [April 2002]

The press release issued by the Strategic Rail Authority on 16 April 2002.

Richard Bowker, Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), visited Cornwall today and offered both long-term vision and short-term delivery for rail services in the county.

At a series of meetings with railway staff, business, and civic leaders on the first part of a two-day visit to the West Country, he spoke about his plans for major improvements to the railways both locally and nationally. Confirming the importance of West Country services to the rail network, he spoke of how the rail industry is finding new ways of working closely together to achieve short-term improvements for passengers.

During his visit, the SRA Chairman confirmed funding for two passenger rail schemes in Cornwall. The improvements, being funded through the SRA’s Rail Passenger Partnership (RPP) scheme, involve a major upgrade to Penzance Station to improve transport integration, and the introduction of more trains on the Truro to Falmouth line. He also confirmed that the SRA is taking forward further assessment work on potential RPP funding to double the seven-mile single-track section of the Great Western Main Line between Probus and Burngullow at a cost of £11m.

During his visit, Richard Bowker said:

“Rail services in Cornwall are of national importance. The funding announced today underlines our commitment to this railway – right through to the end of the line at Penzance, where the station improvements will be a real community project. The next step will be to develop the business case for providing more capacity on the mainline between Truro and St Austell, which passed a major milestone with the pre-qualification of this scheme today.”

Details of the successful RPP schemes follow:

Penzance Interchange
The SRA is providing £250,000 of RPP funding towards the scheme’s total cost of £769,000. The proposal includes remodelling the bus station, upgrading and refurbishing toilets, improving the car park (with provision for cycles, motor cycles and disabled drivers), and various access and environmental improvements.

Cornwall County Council is contributing £395,000 to the scheme. Other contributors include the Countryside Agency (£30,000), South West Arts Board (£30,000), First Western National (£25,000) and Penwith District Council (£24,381). It is estimated that work will be completed in late 2002 with full operation in 2002/3.

Truro to Falmouth
The SRA is providing £64,000 worth of RPP funding (over three years) to provide for an all year round Sunday service on the route (service currently operates on just 10 summer Sundays). The funding is being matched by £67,000 of funding from other sources, namely Cornwall County Council (£30,000), Countryside Agency (£31,000) and the Truro-Falmouth Partnership (£6,000).