However, the majority of people in Cornwall use public transport primarily for local journeys and that is where there is more to do. For me the key to making things work better is to try to integrate or join up the bus network with the rail network more effectively than we have done in the past so that rail and bus timetables work in tandem to give people more frequent options to get from one destination to another. If you are in a village and there are only a couple of buses per day and they travel a very long, rambling route, you will be less inclined to rely on the bus to get about. However, what if you had more frequent shuttle buses running a much shorter distance to the nearest train station which then connected with a reliable and regular 30 minute local service through the county?
However, discussions around the possibility of a new train station at Carn Brea have come back to life. The building around Heartlands, the Pool Innovation Centre, the growth of retail space at Pool and new housing around Tuckingmill all strengthen the case for a new train station at Carn Brea. There was previously a station at Carn Brea, but it was closed in 1961. It had also previously been the home of the West Cornwall Railway’s workshops, where locomotives were maintained. Things go full circle and it would be great if we could re-open the station at Carn Brea which would considerably improve the resilience of our transport infrastructure.
Finally, the second idea being mooted is to establish a small train station or halt at Ponsanooth. There has been talk of a station at Ponsanooth in the past but it has never quite come off. The Falmouth branch line runs alongside Kennall Vale Woods, and Ponsanooth viaduct is an iconic part of the landscape. The fact that we now have a university outside Penryn and growing use of rail in the county means that the option of an additional halt at Ponsanooth has become an interesting proposition in my view and I am keen to work with local groups developing these ideas which would really help connect the village to Falmouth and Truro.