WORK on the £1.8 million Newquay Strategic Route (NSR), designed as the backbone of a major housing development, has been delayed by a year after costs soared to £3.3 million.
The road, which will link the A392 at Hendra Holiday Park with the A3058 and A3059 to the north-east of the town, is due to be completed by 2030 and will act as the main route through the Duchy of Cornwall's 3,750-home 'Nansledan' development.
Phase one of three, aimed at connecting the A392 and the railway, was due to start this month – but it emerged last week that work will now not begin until next November.
Cornwall Council said it "remained committed" to the project but admitted costs had proved higher than anticipated and additional funding would have to be secured.
A spokeswoman said preparatory works, including a £250,000 archaeological survey, were continuing.
She added: "While it is regrettable that we have been unable to start construction on the route within the time scales originally identified, the council is looking at other potential sources of funding."
Cornwall councillor John Fitter raised the issue at a meeting of Newquay Town Council on Wednesday, saying he had only learnt of the delay after speaking to a nearby resident.
He said: "I do believe it's pretty disgraceful that I had to be told by a resident [rather than the council]. I'm like a mushroom in a cave – always kept in the dark. I'm not happy."
Mr Fitter said he was concerned over future funding of the route, and also wanted reassurances that existing funding had not been redirected to the park-and-ride scheme in Truro.
He fears the delay could affect the first stage of the duchy's plans, as well as the Aerohub Enterprise Zone, at Newquay Cornwall airport, which would rely on the new route.
Aerohub managers Cornwall Development Company, a branch of Cornwall Council, chose not to comment on the potential impact of the delay, but Tim Gray, estate surveyor to the Duchy of Cornwall, said he was not concerned.
He said: "This road was always going to be delivered in phases, so the slight delay really makes no difference as far as we are concerned. Our ambition is to help the council build its Newquay Strategic Route and assuming that various planning consents are granted in the right order and all parties do their bit, we think it could be built within five years.
"In the meantime, the first phase of Nansledan will shortly be under way. This includes 126 new homes, office space and what will be the first part of the strategic route, including a new roundabout on Quintrell Road."
The 3.2km NSR will ultimately cross the rail line and ease summer traffic problems, while also providing access to the new duchy homes between the town and Quintrell Downs. The second stage will bring the A3058 and A3059 down towards the tracks. The final stage will connect the two sections.