Newham BID was originally established in 2013 following widespread interest from businesses to work together to solve an issue – widening the road between Gas Hill and Lighterage Hill to enable safer vehicular access whilst at the same time creating a cantilevered path for cyclists and motorists. During 2016, CORMAC worked with Newham BID on a preferred solution but due to a lack of funding, the road widening scheme has not been implemented. It has however, remained on Cornwall Council’s transport programme awaiting a suitable funding opportunity. At various times since 2016, Newham has revisited the potential to realise the CORMAC designed scheme with our statutory partners.Download CORMAC Feasibility Study.
Newham BID delivers a range of projects and services as well as representing its levy paying businesses. Newham is a welcoming community where businesses appreciate that a riverside location and nearby Newham Trail encourages people to visit the area.
In 2019, Newham BID supported the principle of Truro Loops and provided input to the consultants on the feasibility study. That support was always on the proviso that the needs and requirements of businessesoperating on a busy industrial estate were observed and respected and that safety was paramount to any proposals.
During 2022, following an award of £23.6M for Truro from the Town Deal Fund, Cornwall Council submitted a proposal for a footpath/cycle way between Gas Hill and Lighterage Hill to link with a proposal for a bridge across to Boscawen Park. Following representation from businesses on Newham, a meeting was held in November 2022 to discuss concerns that these proposals did not address the real need for the road to be widened alongside any pedestrian or cycle improvements. At the same time, concerns around the reconfiguration of the road at the entranc
e to Newham prompted another letter from Newham BID on behalf of businesses whoagain, had real safety concerns.
During 2023, a number of proposals were put forward under the Truro Loops scheme to implement changes across Newham including a narrowing of the carriageway on Newham Road and narrowing of Lighterage Hill to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to use Newham. Businesses met with representatives from Cornwall Council/CORMAC to voice their concerns to these proposals and suggest alternatives in February 2023. It should be noted that businesses on Newham are keen to play their part in being ‘green’ and reducing carbon emissions where it is practical to do so.
Newham BID has always welcomed the opportunity to discuss and work with our statutory partners on schemes that create better access for all and do not undermine Newham’s primary role as an industrial estate. Newham is home to circa 180 businesses employing more than 1,200 people; collectively, these businesses generate millions of pounds of turnover, trading nationally and internationally and importantly, carrying out many thousands of vehicle movements daily. The combined rateable value of our industrial estate is equivalent to some small town centres in Cornwall.
Our Estate is thriving and sought after as a place to work and invest and an important economic hub for Truro. Throughout the pandemic, when town centres were largely closed, Newham was busy providing essential services – public transport, waste disposal, food, post and emergency operations and much more.
Newham based company, Macsalvors supported Cornwall Council with the installation of a new bridge over the A30 in double-quick time over a weekend in February 2023 as part of the Chiverton to Carland Cross road dualling scheme Find out more here
Newham not only makes an important economic contribution to Truro but also provides an essential community benefit to the people of Cornwall. Newham businesses are proud to be based on the Estate, close to Truro City Centre and want to continue to operate with suitable and safe access.
Newham BID, working on behalf of its business community has responded to feedback on these various schemes and copies of the consultation letter and other documents can be downloaded here
On 20th March 2023, Newham BID was very disappointed to learn that despite over 25 business objections, Cornwall Council intends to proceed with the core scheme under their Truro Loops proposals. Our press release expressing our concerns for public safety can be downloaded here.
Front page articles have appeared in the West Briton and Truro Voice newspaper this week with the story reported on-line via Packet Newspapers and Business Cornwall. Further business objections have also followed.
Today, Leigh Ibbotson, Chair of Newham BID voiced the concerns of Newham businesses on BBC Radio Cornwall – the item begins exactly 18 minutes into the show - BBC Radio Cornwall
This morning, we appreciated the opportunity to meet Councillor Connor Donnithorne, Cabinet Member for Transport at Cornwall Council on Newham Industrial Estate to voice our concerns in person and to give Councillor Donnithorne a tour of our estate. We thank Councillor Donnithorne for taking the time to visit us.
We hope that Cornwall Council will reconsider their works to narrow Newham Road scheduled to start on Monday 3rd April. Meanwhile, through our solicitors, Stephens Scown, we have issued a legal letter -Pre-action_protocol_letter_for judicial_review.pdf
Please read our latest press release following the news that the Council road project has been ‘paused’.
This press release was covered via Truro Voice, Falmouth Packet and the West Briton. see below:
On 6th April, Cornwall Council's solicitor responded to our legal letter – we have been asked not to publish these. By way of a summary, Cornwall Council suggested that they had not made any ‘decision’ upon the implementation of or approval of the Newham Road Scheme despite five pieces of evidence to the contrary:
Lobbying on behalf of Newham Businesses
Cornwall Council sent their road safety audit
On 18th April, our solicitor responded to the Cornwall Council legal response and a copy of this correspondence can be found here
On the same day, Cameron MacQuarrie from Macsalvors posed a question to Full Council - Question: Truro Town Loops Phase 1::
Newham Road Newham accommodates industrial and distribution businesses; access constrains the viability of the estate. The Council’s design guide would stipulate a carriageway of 7.3m. The Truro Loops scheme would see sections narrowed to just 6.5m. When someone is killed and businesses have to close will the Council accept responsibility?
On 19th April, Cornwall Council’s solicitor issued a legal response notifying Newham BID of their intention to commence works on or after Monday 24th April – we have been asked not to share the Council’s legal letter. In summary, Cornwall Council notified Newham BID that in their opinion, their formal road audit, prepared after the scheme was paused, has been carried out by a team of experienced traffic engineers who are experts in their field.
Cornwall Council maintain that their scheme will provide a better balance between the priorities of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles including HGVs and that their technical evidence would provide an overall benefit in terms of road safety.
On the same day, Newham BID was contacted by Cornwall Live for a response to the story they were running - Cornwall Live Article
More media coverage via Truro Voice and Packet Newspapers here: -Falmouth Packet Article
Macsavlors contacted a Health and Safety Consultant specialising in construction safety who is a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety and an ex HSE Inspector. Having looked at Cornwall Council’s proposals, the testimonial from Bruce Sutherland BSc Hons CFIOSH, MIDE, MFAAM can be downloaded here.
On Friday afternoon, Newham BID received the following message from Cornwall Council Cabinet - the message.
Newham BID has undertaken its own independent technical note of the Council’s scheme published on Friday afternoon which concludes that the Council’s approved scheme is unsafe and will endanger lives. Newham BID is asking the Council not to proceed with these works or Newham BID reserves the right to take matters to a judicial review. We remain committed to ensuring the safety of all road users on Newham and exploring all avenues to achieve this result – see our latest legal letter and the TPA Assessment
Works are due to start today to narrow Newham Road – Newham BID awaits a further response from Cornwall Council following the issuing of our legal letter and independent road safety audit undertaken by experienced transport consultants, TPA, based in London.
Meanwhile, Newham BID has published mapping clearly showing the B1 versus B2/B8 usage of the estate based on current occupiers; it is clear that the B2/B8 usage far outweighs the B1 usage by floor area (by 1:4) , rateable value and vehicle movements associated with these uses. So Cornwall Council’s assertion that Newham is primarily B1 and therefore only needs a carriageway of 6.5M is completely misleading and factually inaccurate. Watch the webcast from the full Council meeting held on Tuesday 18th April. To see the map, click to view it here. To see drone footage, clearly indicating business usage on our estate, click here& here
To view the Council's design guidelines that indicate the widths required for various roads go to Development Layout Design (cornwall.gov.uk) (page 8/9). For a predominantly B2/B8 usage, the carriageway should be a minimum of 7.3M.
A further email has been sent to Cornwall Councillors and relevant officers – Email to Councillors Monday 24th April 2023
On Friday 28th April, Cornwall Council issued a further legal letter confirming that in their view all the appropriate checks and balances have been undertaken by competent professionals that are expert in their field. The Council confirmed that they have confidence in the fact that works can safely proceed. The date for works commencing was indicated to be 2nd May 2023.
The response asserts that Cornwall Council regards safety as a key consideration and have not identified any concerns relating to road width.
Furthermore, they questioned the credentials of TPA’s audit of their scheme; TPA have been providing transport and planning advice for over 25 years and the author of the technical note acts as expert planning witness at planning appeals dealing with transport planning and highways matters. To find out more about click here and their team here
On this date, Mel Richardson from Newham BID also received an email from the Leader of the Council advising her not to communicate direct with officers and councillors and instead, to address all correspondence through the legal department.
Cornwall Council responded to Newham BID’s FOI which was handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
The information requested is lodged at the following link Planning, Parking and Transport - click on “April 2023” for the information requested. Planning, Parking and Transport - Cornwall Council or download here
This includes the Council’s original safety review, their road safety audit prepared after the scheme was paused and the information on consultation responses. Note that by the end of the consultation period, there were 25 letters objecting to the scheme and just 9 in support.
On 3rd May, through our solicitors Stephens Scown, Newham BID appointed a London barrister – George Mackenzie from Francis Taylor Building - find out more here..
Works have started this week on Newham Road.
Pictures show works taking place from 5thMayPictures show works taking place from 5thMay
Totally Truro Limited which is the legal entity for Newham BID has now instructed solicitors to seek permission from the High Court to judicially review the Council’s decision. The Council has also been put on notice of an intention to seek an interim injunction to prevent the works from continuing pending the outcome of that application to the court.
Pictures Show Road Markings of where new pavement will be built and the impact when vehicles drive with wheels adjacent to new kerb.
This shows the vehicle (Standard Articulated Lorry) heading North on the corner immediately before Tesco. Please note trailer wheels only just off the kerb to the left. Tractor Unit wheels on white line with mirrors hanging over into oncoming traffic lane.
Same vehicle – same corner on return journey now heading south. Left hand wheels of truck are approximately on the line of paint marks laid down by CORMAC, mirrors would be slightly over new pavement. Comparison with previous photo will show that 2 vehicles of this type could not pass each other without impact unless the southbound vehicle mounted the pavement or the northbound dived into the hedge. Please note, impact would be on drivers’ side on both vehicles leading to high probability of loss of control.
This is the following corner with wheels positioned to keep mirrors approximately at edge of pavement. Once again, any southbound vehicle would not pass with result of either emergency stop or severe impact. These pictures confirm Swept Path Analysis carried out by TPA is correct.
Pictures show marked out lines on road where new pavement will be built out
This clearly shows mirrors on edge of new pavement line. Only option for two vehicles to pass anywhere along this stretch is, as prophesied by TPA, for one of them to mount the kerb.
Pictures show work has started overnight pre and during the Bank Holiday weekend
Pictures showing works taking place on Wednesday 10th May 2023
Please find attached our latest legal letters:
We have complied with Cornwall Council’s request not to issue their legal letters but by way of summary, the Council’s solicitor has queried the legitimacy of Newham BID and its legal status including its relationship with Totally Truro Ltd. They have indicated that once they have established our legal status, they may or may not release the documentation we ask that we believe should be in the public domain.
Overnight, CORMAC staff work intensively on Newham and have now created an issue preventing safe deliveries by artics to Screwfix and Tilewise on Newham Road – see picture. Large vehicles now accessing Newham are forced to use the forecourt of Tilewise to safely pass.
Newham BID issues its press release – download here which receives traction on Cornwall Live and Truro Packet:Newham BID issues its press release – download here which receives traction on Cornwall Live and Truro Packet:
ITV West Country News covered our road story on the 6pm evening West Country News – to see the footage Click Here- headline item. A shorter clip appeared on the 10.30pm news slot.
On the same day, Screwfix struggled to make a delivery to their store on Newham Road – the narrowing meant they could not reverse into the yard and parking on the road not only created an issue for other road users trying to safely pass but also created an issue for the offloading of stock.
Cornwall Council and Newham BID have entered into discussions and agreed a joint statement -Cornwall Council and Newham BID have entered into discussions and agreed a joint statement
Following a legal challenge to the proposed upgrade of the National Cycle Network along Newham Road, Cornwall Council is in discussions with Newham Business Improvement District and Totally Truro. The involved parties are open to exploring an out of court resolution.
Cornwall Council made the following decision and agreed the statement below with Newham BIDCornwall Council made the following decision and agreed the statement below with Newham BID
“The Cornwall Council has issued an operational decision on 25.05.2023 to halt the Newham Scheme; the Council and Newham BID are currently working together in an attempt to reach a resolution that does not involve court intervention and generally in respect of any future plans affecting the Newham Estate.”
We await the opportunity to enter into positive discussions with Cornwall Council representatives and hope that the road will be reinstated to its original width as soon as possible.
We await the opportunity to enter into positive discussions with Cornwall Council representatives and hope that the road will be reinstated to its original width as soon as possible
Meanwhile, today, legislation comes in to allow longer trailers on UK Roads to support the government's priority to grow the economy, boost productivity, slash road emissions and support supply chains.
Councillor Rob Nolan talks to Local Democracy Reporter, Lee Trewhela
To read the article go to:
Newham BID are very disappointed to learn that a decision was issued on Monday 15th August to proceed with the Truro Loops scheme which involves narrowing Newham Road to create wider footpaths for cyclists and pedestrians, a scheme the Council halted on 22nd May.
We have been presented with a slightly revised scheme within which we are very unhappy with and does not address the concerns of our Newham businesses. We also do not believe the scheme is safe,meeting the requirements of our many road users including those operating HGVs or indeed for the intended users of the new footpath once installed.
In summary, the new proposal is to reduce the section of road from Tesco to Skinners Brewery to a width of 6.8M (from its current 7.3M – originally, the Council intended to reduce it to 6.5M) and to reduce the road width from Skinners Brewery to Cornish Mutual to 6.5M (a large reduction from its current width and line with their original proposal so no concession).
We are currently liaising with our solicitors and our transport consultants before deciding what further action we can take.
It is possible that the work will start very soon given that the Council have a funding deadline. Despite a misleading press release from Cornwall Council which we ask them to alter before issuing, we are not in any way, supportive of the new proposals and gave a response to Cornwall Live as below.
CORMAC advised that work would begin today on the road narrowing scheme using European funds - work is due to be completed by the end of December 2023. Newham BID wrote to Councillor Richard Pears, the new Cabinet Transport Portfolio Holder to invite him to visit Newham but he subsequently declined the invitation.
Meanwhile, Newham BID has also reported to Cornwall Council issues with the road surface between Gas Hill and Lighterage Hill, where repairs are required to maintain access to half the industrial
Traffic lights associated with the road narrowing scheme have caused widespread disruption this week including traffic delays, blocked access to businesses and an accident where a HGV reversed into an adjacent building due to the narrowed access.
Newham BID is aware of numerous complaints lodged with CORMAC including those around the safety of the Council's two way traffic light system which does not allow motorists whose businesses are located mid-way along Newham Road, to know whether the lights are on red or green. This is particularly dangerous for those whose business includes the transport of hazardous substances.
Since the scheme began, there have been high costs to businesses including the replacement of wing mirrors and associated time lost and costs returning to site. Businesses have been forced to use alternative HGVs whilst the original vehicle needs to be repaired and cannot legally be used.
Over the last month, Newham BID has reached out to the new Portfolio Holder for Transport, Councillor Richard Pears but he has declined our offer for a meeting on site.
One of the businesses on the estate, who does not at this stage want to be identified,issued a legal challenge on Monday, putting in an application to the High Court for permission to judicially review Cornwall Council’s decision to narrow the road and have asked for an expedited court hearing and an immediate injunction. We are clearly delighted that an occupier on Newham shares the same concerns about the safety of the scheme as we have and has made a commitment to challenge the decision. Clearly, at this stage, the outcome is unknown but it is heartening that the fight for the rights of our business community continues.
Other businesses including independents, nationals and landlords with premises on Newham have pledged additional financial support
Newham BID wrote to the Prime Minister copying in the Secretary of State for Transport and the MP For Truro and Falmouth. A copy of the letter is here and the response from the Minister for Roads and Transport is here.
Newham BID has exchanged correspondence with CORMAC who still have no plans to release to businesses on the scheme despite an assurance that these would be available some weeks ago.
Meanwhile, CORMAC plant has been parked on private forecourts without the consent of the businesses concerned.
The roadworks continue to create lengthy delays for our business community and hinder trading activities.
A number of near misses have been evidenced as the narrowed road prevents two HGVs passing each other safely as predicted by Newham businesses from the outset of the scheme.
Photographic and CCTV evidence demonstrates the safety issues. It is clear that the new kerb stones are being damaged as vehicles are forced to mount the kerb to avoid a collision. Smashed wing mirrors and burst tyres have also added to the costs and stress encountered by businesses as well as the cost of lengthy delays.
Thankfully, to date there have been no injuries on this stretch of road whilst one way traffic prevails for most of the route governed by traffic lights. It is unclear what the impact will be when the lights are removed and the road is two-way at a width of just 6.5m.
Newham BID has written to the Inspector of Police for Devon and Cornwall inviting or his policing colleagues to visit Newham and see the impact of the Council’s road narrowing scheme.