'Dangerous' and 'detrimental to business': Companies say Truro roadworks are causing chaos

Lorries passing through the roadworks at Newham Road.

A scheme to create a shared pedestrian and cycle path by narrowing the road at Newham in Truro has been called "dangerous" and "detrimental to business".

Around 180 industrial and office-based firms are located at Newham Industrial Estate, alongside the Truro River.

Impacted businesses Macsalvors, Tile Wise, and Royal Mail's Truro depot have dozens of heavy vehicle movements in and out of their sites each day.

Cameron MacQuarrie, MD of Macsalvors Ltd operates a crane hire depot at Newham.

He says the current roadworks in place to create the scheme are difficult for large vehicles to navigate, and he has concerns that narrowing the road permanently will put cyclists at risk.

He told ITV News: "It has been narrowed up even more with all the barriers, bollards and cones and we're not actually sure at the moment what the final width is going to be, but certainly a lot narrower than it is now."

The scheme is part of the wider community-led Truro Loops project to improve healthy transport links.

The work originally started in the spring of 2023, but was temporarily halted in May when members of the area's Business Improvement District raised safety concerns.

In August, Cornwall Council announced work would resume following discussions with Newham BID.

The road narrowing work near Truro's Tesco superstore. Credit: ITV News

Cornwall Councillor for the Truro Boscawen & Redannick area Rob Nolan has called for safety gates to be installed to protect cyclists and pedestrians joining the cycle route at Gas Hill in Newham.

He says further safety revisions to the wider scheme are also needed.

Cllr Nolan told ITV News: "They're now negotiating the width because initially they wanted to make it narrower, so they're negotiating with the businesses to make it a little wider.

"Will that be safe? We just don't know, in the meantime it's disrupting everyone in the run-up to Christmas."

The manager of the Tile Wise showroom on Newham Road Janet Martin says the roadworks have been putting people off visiting the area.

"I'm having customers phone up on a regular basis asking if the roadworks are still ongoing, because they're actively avoiding the area and that's really detrimental for business."

"There are still lorries losing wing mirrors, there are still the bollards getting broken, people can't pass each other safely, even just driving a car down here is actually quite dangerous at the moment."

A new bridge will connect Newham and Boscawen Park. Credit: ITV News

In a statement, Cornwall Council said: "The walking and cycling improvement scheme balances the needs of all users of the route which forms part of the wider, city-wide, Town Deal and community led Truro Loops project to improve healthy and sustainable transport links in the city.  

"After listening to feedback, the revised scheme design retains the important walking and cycling objectives of the scheme whilst also ensuring a road width that enables the safe passage of vehicles.   

 "Safety is always the priority. We’ve written to businesses and stakeholders to explain that the resurfacing and laying of white lines means the road has to be closed in phases on weeknights, from 7pm each evening until 6am the following morning, over the next few weeks.  

"The road remains open as normal during the daytime and at weekends. Weather permitting, these final stages of work on Newham Road are due to be completed by Christmas 2023. We apologise for any inconvenience while these works take place."

The cycle path will join a network of green cycle routes across the city, which will include a new bridge between Newham and Boscawen Park at Malpas.