A VILLAGE will soon celebrate the long-awaited opening of its revamped children’s play park.

Local road safety campaign group Safe38 is using the opening of Tideford’s play park on Saturday, April 29, to renew its calls for a pelican crossing across this busy section of the A38 which forms part of an important part of the strategic road network in SE Cornwall. The crossing isn’t currently included within the proposed package of safety works for the Saltash to Trerulefoot section of the A38 as part of RIS3 road improvement scheme to be delivered post 2025.

James Millidge Safe38 Chairperson says, “The A38 divides this community completely in half with no safe means of pedestrians crossing the road along the entire stretch through the village. In all honesty Safe38 was shocked and utterly dismayed to find that a safe signalised crossing for Tideford was not included by National Highways within the proposed scheme of works.

“Not only do the residents of Tideford have to endure toxic air quality caused by the various pollutants coming from road traffic - they are hit with a double whammy of also having to dice with death to cross the road to access the play park. The reality is that many simply won’t be able to access it easily which is heartbreaking for this community.”

Hannah Jenkins, a young Mum and member of the Tideford play park organising committee is equally appalled. She said: “It beggars belief, that not only do we have to put up with living with poor air quality and have our children’s health put at risk each time they step outside their front door. Now we have invested in a play park for them that is not safe to walk to if you happen to live on the wrong side of the village.

“My daughter goes to the Montessori nursery and trying to cross the road to get there is a nightmare. Cars let you cross one side but then you get stuck in the middle. It’s unnerving standing there clinging onto her and two more children under the age of 4 waiting for a car to stop. I have on occasion even resorted to taking the car in order to keep the girls safe. The road is also a barrier for her nursery taking children to the park. The risk for them of crossing the road with children in their care is just too high.”

James Millidge doesn’t understand the apathy of the Department of Transport when residents continue to be faced with such difficult circumstances. He continues: “RIS 3 proposals do include a reduction in the speed limit through the village from 40mph to 30mph which is welcomed and we hope that will help mitigate some of the issues, but there is a total lack of urgency on behalf of the Department of Transport in regards to what are relatively cheap safety interventions.”

In stark contrast, Landrake - a village also separated by the A38 just minutes away from Tideford - was provided with a footbridge following a tragic and unfortunately fatal road traffic incident in the 1990s. Residents of Tideford should not have to wait for tragedy to strike before something is done according to Safe38.

With the A38 in Devon rated one of the best routes to drive in a recent poll by Retailer A0 of its 700 drivers and the general public, why are National Highways and the Department of Transport dragging their heels on safeguarding the lives of children and all other residents of Tideford? The answer is clear to James.

“South East Cornwall continually misses out on funding for key infrastructure projects and we find ourselves fighting tooth and nail for minimal safety improvements while other parts of Cornwall, closer to Truro, see massive investment. These improvements are critical for all of Cornwall’s residents and visitors and we call upon those in power to hear our call for action.

“Safe38 ultimate goal for this section of the A38 is a new bypass to rid Tideford of the traffic and reunite this severed community, but in the meantime we desperately need these safety interventions including a pelican crossing delivered sooner than 2025. We are appealing directly to Cornwall Council, National Highways, our local MP and the Department of Transport to push this up their agenda as a matter of urgency for all our sakes but most importantly for the sake of our children.”

James added: “It’s a no brainer really isn’t it.”