FIFTEEN years since the campaign began, Altarnun Parish Council is hoping to unit local parishes in a renewed effort to make the notorious A30/B3257 junction at Plusha safer.

The first council meeting of the New Year saw Launceston town councillor and St Stephen by Launceston Rural Parish councillor Joan Heaton in attendance. Representing herself as a member of the public, she pledged her allegiance to Altarnun Parish Council in an effort to unite other local parishes in the fight to make the A30/B3257 junction safer.

She explained how she witnessed the aftermath of a major accident on December 30 which had provoked her to revisit the cause: “NHS agencies, police, ambulance services, Public Health (Cornwall Council) — all working together, I saw them all in action on December 30, 2021, and it was impressive. I also saw another partner in action — the public.

“This is the reality. Accidents happen. We have an impressive strategy in place to deal with worst case.

“We, who put ourselves forward as advocates of the people, need to get together and do the best we can to mitigate the situation at Plusha Services. Let’s work from the grassroots to Westminster to help our community.”

Altarnun Parish Council has been campaigning for over 15 years enlisting the support of their ward councillors during that time and latterly Cllr Adrian Parsons, Cornwall councillor for Altarnun and Stoke Climsland, who at the meeting threw down the gauntlet to local representatives in Westminster. He said: “With regards to Plusha, many of us have had lengthy discussions with the stakeholders involved, if those with immediate access to National Highways aren’t pulling their weight and delivering for their community they need to be held to account.”

Altarnun parish councillors agreed the next steps should to be taken at the upcoming Launceston Community Network Panel meeting in March. They also agreed to make further representation to MP for North Cornwall Scott Mann to act on their behalf “as a matter of urgency”.

After the meeting, Mr Mann told the Post he is aware of the situation but highlighted the difficulties in implementing what he felt would be a “multi-million pound scheme”.

He said: “It’s clear to me that Plusha Junction is dangerous and I echo the concerns of North Cornwall residents and road users in the local area who have brought it to my attention over recent years.

“I am aware that there are calls to redesign and rebuild the entire junction, and I am exploring these with the Department for Transport and National Highways. The cost implications for such a project are really very high and the overall project fairs badly when compared to others around the country, which makes the case for a large multi-million pound scheme difficult.

“A relatively quick fix could be National Highways’ suggestion to close the cross over junctions. Although this would present issues for local people needing to access either side of the A30, it could be implemented on a trial basis and reviewed after a few months. I am encouraging Highways England to engage with the community on this suggestion.”