Plans to re-route the A39 Atlantic Highway at Camelford to tackle congestion, improve air quality and revitalise Camelford town centre have been given a boost by Cornwall Council’s cabinet.

Members agreed to submit the Outline Business Case for the project to the Department of Transport, signalling that it is now at a stage where the council can seek Government funding for the proposed bypass.

During the meeting, cabinet also agreed measures to protect the proposed route from future development, to fund further preparatory works and to begin the land acquisition process.

Re-routing the Atlantic Highway away from Camelford town centre has been a long-held aspiration of the local community.

More than 70% of residents said they were in favour of the proposals following a public consultation earlier this year.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “The submission of the Outline Business Case is a major milestone and demonstrates our commitment to making this project a reality.

“There is still a lot of work to be done before construction can begin, but this is an important step.”

“The road scheme will bring many benefits including reducing air pollution – it will also give the local community their high street back by removing around 80% of the traffic currently travelling through the town.”


The Government has indicated that this project is a priority for the South West region and one that is expected to become a reality within the next five years.

It is anticipated that work will begin on the scheme in late 2022 and be completed by summer 2024, subject to funding and planning consents.

Cornwall Council has committed £6.59m towards the £48.17m project.

The bypass will facilitate housing growth, improved economic and tourist related opportunities in the area, and address local impacts of traffic congestion and the air quality management area in the town.

Initial results of the traffic modelling indicate around 80% of the predicted traffic would reassign to the new bypass and journey times and reliability on this section of the A39 would be significantly improved.

Additionally, the scheme allows for drainage ponds, planting and habitat creation to achieve a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain. Provision has been made in the design for a pedestrian cycle underpass of the new scheme linking to the hamlet of Trevia. Similarly, provision has been made for a pedestrian cycle path and agricultural vehicle access to be made under the new Camel bridge to link out to the Slaughterbridge area.

From the south, the scheme will divert from the existing A39 between Tramagenna and Valley Truckle via a roundabout junction. The bypass will extend in a north-west direction and cross the C0644 (to Lanteglos) and the C0567 (to Hendra) where new roundabout junctions would be installed to maintain access. The bypass then extends northwards, parallel to the overhead power lines, and crosses Trevia Lane (between Trevia and Camelford) and the B3266 (to Boscastle). A roundabout junction will maintain the B3266 route. The bypass extends northwards until it curves eastwards to cross the River Camel and the steep-sided valley on a viaduct.

The bypass will be located to the north of Trefrew and will re-join the existing A39 near the position of an existing lay-by, to the south of Collans Cross.

Cllr Geoff Brown, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The A39 Camelford bypass is excellent news for the people of Camelford, diverting commuters and HGVs out of the town, improving quality of life and pollution levels.

“The Lib Dem proposals will divert the A39 road through Camelford’s town centre, dramatically reducing congestion, rejuvenating the high street, and benefiting communities and businesses.”

Camleford’s mayor Rob Rotchell, who is also a Lib Dem Cornwall Councillor for Camelford, said: “This is great news for the people of Camelford, for local businesses and the environment. The new bypass will improve economic growth, help to tackle local congestion and improve air quality in the town.

“I have been campaigning for this for many years and I am encouraged that we are taking this next big step to deliver this much needed and long-awaited project.”