'Ludicrous' A30 closure on Royal Cornwall Show weekend leads to U-turn

There are concerns that the A30 weekend closure will lead to massive delays for the Royal Cornwall Show this week
-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin)

A planned weekend A30 closure has been cancelled after it was branded "ludicrous" because it will coincide with the Royal Cornwall Show. National Highways announced last week that the A30 would again be closed overnight all this week and fully at the weekend as it ramps up work on the £330m dualling upgrade between Chiverton and Carland Cross.

This week, the A30 between Chiverton and Mitchell - more than 11 miles - will be closed overnight for four nights until Thursday (June 6). The closure will be in place between 8pm and 6am each day. A 16-mile diversion route will be in place between the A3076 from Mitchell towards Quintrell Downs and then the A3075 down to the Chiverton Cross interchange.

There was then due to be a full weekend closure of the A30 between Chiverton and Summercourt from 9pm on Friday (June 7) to 6am on Monday (June 10). The closure would have a similar diversion in place and coincide with the biggest annual event in Cornwall, from Thursday to Saturday.

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For these closures, local access north and south at Chiverton and via the B3284 at Chybucca will be maintained throughout. The link from the A39 to the north will also be maintained via the B3285. National Highways said the closures are focused on surfacing and infrastructure work along the route.

National Highways said the recent overnight and weekend closures are necessary to meet the dual carriageway opening date of June following months of rain and delays.

However the closure plans had not been welcomed by everyone as it was seen as potentially clashing with the Royal Cornwall Show, in Wadebridge - Cornwall's largest event. Last year more than 118,000 people attended the event.

Farmers attending the show worried that the A30 closures could have a huge impact as it would lead to massive tailbacks and long delays. Bridgette Clamp, from Nancledra near Penzance, who will be showing her pedigree Red Ruby Devon cattle at the show, told the BBC: "To close it and give us a new, longer diversion over that Royal Cornwall weekend is ludicrous. For animal welfare this is just one straw too many for the camel's back.

"There are going to be pinch points, there will be trailers of all different widths and sizes, and not just cattle, there will be sheep and horses, there are a lot of equine competitions at the Royal Cornwall Show and Saturday is going to be a nightmare."

However since the concerns came to the light, Chris Riddle, the secretary of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, has now confirmed that following discussions, with National Highways there will now be no planned daytime closures for the new A30 project during the three days of the Royal Cornwall Show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

He added: "We are very happy to hear that in this instance common sense has prevailed, and disruption to traffic heading to the show during the day will be mitigated. We still advise that anyone visiting the Show this week gives themselves plenty of time for their journey, and have a wonderful time while they are here."