There’s a road I use nearly every day and it generally seems that the rest of St Austell also uses it. It’s Tregonissey Road and as it serves as one of the main roads into St Austell from the north, the College, Poltair School and Carclaze School it can be pretty gridlocked around 8.30 and 3.30. So I was a bit disheartened a few months ago to see the surface covered in white and yellow road markings, indicators of imminent roadworks. Still the summer holidays were approaching, of course, the obvious time to do the work. Now we’re into the first week of August and nothing has happened yet, I hope by the time you read this the works are underway because it isn’t a well used tourist route so it won’t cause undue traffic chaos but if they wait until September then what a mess that will be.
Of course it has always been a long standing complaint that highways and the utility companies seem incapable of sensible timing when it comes to digging up roads so I wouldn’t be surprised if they do wait until September to start digging up the town’s busiest school road just as the new school term starts. It was clearly some sort of bonkers logic that decided that the best time to once again massacre St Austell high street was the summer holidays.
I couldn’t believe it when I walked in the other day. Just how many times has the high street been dug up in the last ten years? It’s truly ridiculous. Now it’s been patched up with great big splotches of tarmac between the herringbone pavings. Presumably this means that at some point it is going to be dug up again or the whole road is once again going to be re-laid. Or maybe the council will run out of money and we’ll be left with a patched up eyesore for another few years. It makes me really cross that no one seems to consider the impression that this gives to people visiting St Austell. Yes we have a nice new shopping area but there are no independents in there. The independents are what give a town its character. Holiday makers visiting Mevagissey are always commenting on how nice the local villages are but what a shame about St Austell. They all go to Truro instead. All those people visiting Eden and Heligan and yet year after year they pop into the shop and say I see St. Austell is still a mess. I am beginning to hear compliments for the new development and that is encouraging but I care more about the independents and keeping profits local.
And of course it would be great for us locals to have a lovely, vibrant town centre but we can’t ignore just how much money comes into the county during summer and how much St Austell misses out on.
Hey ho. I’m sure digging up the high street in the summer holidays makes sense to someone. Maybe some little A4 posters explaining the mess and outlining the benefits? Something in the newspapers? An explanation, an apology? A decent high street? Dream on kiddo and watch out for roadworks in September.