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A30 dual carriageway opens improving links to Cornwall

Not a cone in sight! The new A30 dual carriageway well and truly open. Credit: ITV West Country

A long awaited stretch of dual carriageway has opened on the A30 near Bodmin in Cornwall marking the end of two and a half years of roadworks and delays... and at a cost of £60m.

The cones were removed by 6am this morning paving the way for an opening ceremony conducted by Cllr Geoff Brown - the Cornwall councillor with the responsibility for transport. All that remains is for some landscaping.

The tailbacks that used to plague villages near the A30 at Bodmin. Credit: A30 Action Group

This used to be a notorious bottleneck, creating long traffic jams during the summer months. Mick Martin was instrumental in setting up the A30 Action Group which campaigned for a dual carriageway at Temple. He lives in Millpool and witnessed the chaos, particularly when the main road was closed by accidents.

Here Mick Martin tells our correspondent Steve Hardy about the problems caused by the bottleneck.

'What kind of tailback are we talking about in years gone by?'

''Ten or twelve miles,westbound it used to go as far back as Altarnun which is at least ten or eleven miles,the other way when they opened Innis Downs it just moved the traffic quicker to this area and that was another ten miles.''

– Mick Martin, A30 Action Group

The three lane section at Temple not only caused bottlenecks,it also resulted in serious accidents,some fatal. Police traffic officer Simon Bishop was often called out there.

Things like what's known as suicide lanes, three lanes that merge into one lane either way. Sometimes merging there can cause big tailbacks and also using the middle lane to overtake can be very dangerous if you meet oncoming vehicles.

– Simon Bishop, Devon and Cornwall Police

After calls to improve transport links in the Duchy, work began in 2015 to turn the A30 between Temple and Higher Carlake into a dual carriageway. Those roadworks themselves caused their own delays resulting in fury from commuters and traders alike.

Our Cornwall reporter Kathy Wardle was at the opening of the segment of dual carriageway. Here she talks to Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, about the changes.

After today the long tailbacks should be gone, peace at last for the long suffering communities on its doorstep.