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Transport Minister sees A38 crossing

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 15, 2012

LOOE VALLEY: Sheryll Murray, left, MP for South East Cornwall, with First Group's regional manager for the west David Crome and Theresa Villiers, MP.

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HOPES have been raised over the possible installation of a footbridge across the A38 to link Saltash and Carkeel.

Theresa Villiers, MP, Minister of State for Transport with responsibility for railways, visited Looe and Saltash to view the Duchy's train services and the A38 after South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray invited her to find out about local issues.

Mrs Villiers heard of the need for a bridge over the main road and for more trains to stop at Saltash station, before taking a trip on the Looe Valley Line where people are campaigning for an improved service.

The two MPs met with local councillors and residents in Saltash Waitrose, including mayor Martin Gee, who raised concerns that people had to walk across the busy A38 to get to the supermarket and stressed the need for a footbridge.

Mrs Murray said: "There is a massive need for a way to cross this busy road.

"I will continue to actively campaign for this, looking for ways to achieve it."

Mrs Villiers said she was meeting with Roads Minister Mike Penning and promised to discuss it.

Speaking at Saltash Town Council, Councillor Peter Clements said: "I think the Waitrose meeting went well but nothing was promised."

The council will write to Mr Penning and hopes this will help secure a footbridge.

Mr Gee said: "The Minister was sitting there bemoaning the fact there's no money but she did get excited when we took her up to the roundabout – she said it was terrible."

The MPs also met with councillors and the Saltash Rail Users' Group at the town's station.

Councillor Richard Bickford said: "It's very good timing because the Minister's department is currently drawing up the invitation to tender for the new Great Western franchise.

"We took her down to the end of the platform and said we've only got two ways to cross this great river.

"She was able to see a high-speed train coming through slowly and we were able to agree that stopping trains here is quite easy and cheap."

Residents also raised the derelict old station building.

Mrs Murray said: "I am keen to work with the town council and offer my help if there is anything I can do to expedite a solution."

Mrs Villiers joined Mrs Murray for a trip down the Looe Valley line, where she heard from local councillors and others about the line and its importance to the tourist industry in Looe.

Mrs Murray said it was very important and she wanted to ensure the importance was emphasised.

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