Wednesday, 26 September 2012

TRAC project update

Today's Cornish and Devon Post carries a long and, in part, misleading letter on the subject of the TRAC project. The subject is a serious one and I thought it important to give a reply.

The original TRAC project was one which was supported by all local councillors. It envisaged an off-road trail from the Tamar to Egloskerry with the steam railway extended out to Egloskerry. Unfortunately, the railway extension had to be dropped because the council is not legally allowed to use its powers in order to benefit a private company. However, I still want to see the extension happen in due course and have been clear that in my view the council must not do anything which would permanently block the railway's expansion.

The second key concern is over the amount of on-road trail, due to the inability of the council to do a deal with a landowner. Whilst regrettable, I don't think that the entire trail should be abandoned because some of it is on-road. Having the trail means that we can continue to work with the landowner to try to do a deal and move it off-road in the future. In the meantime, the council will put in extra signage and passing places and ensure that the hedges along that stretch are cut back more often.

There are other issues of concern such as the crossing of the main road in town and how far to the East the trail will extend and these are being worked on too.

At the end of the day, I would share concerns that this trail will not deliver everything we had hoped. But I would rather see an imperfect trail that can be improved on in the future than to abandon this project altogether. The letter writer seems to think that local councillors can always get exactly what we want. Sadly, this is not the case.

Local councillors and the project team have organised a number of public meetings on the subject of the trail and will continue to do so. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to meet to discuss the project then I would suggest they get in touch to ask to do so rather than throw mud from the sidelines.

This is a project which is constantly changing and there are meetings which are happening all the time. I've been involved in a lot of these and have avoided commenting publicly whilst the situation was flexible and until I had all the facts as things currently stand. As soon as I did have the information I gave a report to the town council, a summary of which is in today's paper.

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