The A30 is an extremely important road for all of us and serves as our main route in and out of Cornwall, but it can be very dangerous as two fatal accidents in the space of just four days recently highlighted. My thoughts are with the families of the victims of these incidents and the emergency services who responded. Essentially, the A30 is Cornwall’s ‘motorway’ but being an A-road, it obviously doesn’t have the same level of safety such as a hard shoulder and electronic signs.
While I am not calling for the road to be upgraded to a motorway standard, which would not be realistic, I have written to National Highways and the Department of Transport as a matter of urgency to see what additional safety measures could be implemented. One of my team members was caught in a tailback between Lanivet and Victoria during the first incident and reported to me that emergency services were finding it hard to get through the middle of two lanes of stationary traffic. This is obviously of concern to me, and I urge road users to stay alert and aware of emergency vehicles trying to get to the scene of an accident.
I have previously highlighted concerns about the road, including cross over junctions, but regular road users will also be aware that some of the slip lanes on and off the A30 are extremely short and some are almost at right angles onto the road. The westbound slip lane at the bottom of Highgate Hill is always very concerning, and Plusha in my constituency is another notoriously dangerous junction. These are just two examples but there are many more. It may be possible to extend and upgrade these slip lanes at a reasonable cost and I’d be interested to hear people’s own concerns about the A30.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) is now open for entries and I have written to all the secondary schools in North Cornwall to encourage students to enter. The QCEC, delivered by the Royal Commonwealth Society, is the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools. It offers thousands of young people, whatever their background, the opportunity to make their voices heard on a global platform. In this Platinum Jubilee year of our Sovereign, Her Majesty The Queen, young Commonwealth writers are asked to reflect on inspirational leadership and to explore the positive impact that can be achieved through commitment to their communities within the theme ‘Our Commonwealth’.
Open to all UK residents, aged 18 and under, the competition has two age categories for those aged 14 – 18 years and those under 14 years. Winners from each category will win a trip to London for a week of educational and cultural activities, culminating in an awards ceremony, usually held at Buckingham Palace, and hosted by the Society’s Vice-Patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall. All successful entries are recognised for their participation. The competition will close for submissions on the 30th of June 2022.
Before I sign off, many of you will recall that the Falklands War began this week in 1982. In the ten weeks that followed, 255 British service personnel gave their lives to return the islands to British control, including Private Mark Holman-Smith (2 Para) from Bodmin, who fell at the Battle of Goose Green. He was just 19 years old.
We shall remember them.