Our long-term goal is to improve Helston’s connectivity and reduce reliance on the motor car.
Part of the work being undertaken with Helston’s Town Vitality funding is focused upon issues around the connectivity of Helston. The team has been developing proposals for cycling and walking routes in town, buses in the town centre and, in the long term, trying to re-connect Helston’s rail line.
There was huge celebration in the town of Helston when the 8-mile section of railway was opened connecting the town to the main South Western rail line network in 1887. Enormous celebratory arches were built in the main streets of the town declaring ‘Success to Helston Railway’ and ‘May Trade Increase’.
There was an equally loud outcry when the same 8 miles of railway was scrapped following the Beeching cuts in 1962. The mass demonstrations went unheeded and to quell the anger, Helston was promised improved road links – a promise which was never delivered.
The most southerly town in Britain and second oldest town in Cornwall remains poorly connected and almost entirely reliant on the motor car for transport.
This project seeks to examine the potential of re-instating the rail link, not necessarily along the exact line of its original route but either to the north towards Gwinnear Junction or east linking to Falmouth, thereby connecting Helston to local towns and the main South West rail line.
A second project is examining the opportunity for re-opening some stretches of the old rail route and coordinating with Helston Historic Railway to provide a walking and cycling trail connecting Helston to the Historic Railway and possibly onwards to the Cornwall-Wide Cycle Network at Carnhell Green.