A reminder of what we stand for...

2009-08-12

The Friends of Penzance Harbour are in favour of improvements to the Scilly Link, but against the destructive and financially imprudent approach being taken by the Route Partnership.

In particular:
• By locating a freight handling depot and associated heavy traffic in the middle of the historic seafront the RP scheme will compromise the area's future regeneration.
• The Route Partnership (RP) scheme will damage listed harbour structures and have a major adverse effect on the setting and character of the historic harbour, undermining the local distinctiveness of the town and wider area;
• The RP scheme moves harbour activities into an amenity area, obliterating a much-loved beach, threatening Battery Rocks, blocking views and compromising the setting of the listed Jubilee Pool, Promenade and Barbican area.
• The RP scheme fails to tackle traffic congestion in the harbour area or integrate with bus and train services.
• The RP choice of a single combined freight and passenger vessel requires a lengthened pier and according to consultants will be more costly to operate, threatening the financial viability of the Scilly Link.
• By borrowing £10m to become a ship-owner Cornwall Council is placing Cornwall Council taxpayer’s money at risk (Isles of Scilly Council taxpayers risk nothing);
• By undermining important natural and heritage assets the RP scheme threatens tourism and trades the long-term economic security of the area for short-term illusory gains.

A number of alternative approaches have been proposed. Of these the Friends of Penzance Harbour (FoPzH) believe that the most promising is the locating of freight handling facilities at an out-of-town depot and passenger facilities on an existing quayside site.

A suitable and vacant out-of-town depot already exists on Long Rock industrial estate; it has excellent road connections and vehicles using it do not have to travel through Long Rock village. Goods would be consolidated at the depot and just 2-4 lorry journeys per day would deliver them to the quayside for immediate loading. In addition to eliminating the need for most of the infill on Battery Rocks beach, this approach removes 250 plus vehicles from the congested harbour area for each freight sailing.

Improved passenger facilities require much less space and could be located on an existing quayside site without disturbing other businesses. Designs for a passenger reception next to the Waterside Meadery have already been prepared by the Civic Society.

The RP’s own consultants have confirmed that this approach is a workable solution. It secures the Scilly Link, has similar operating costs, none of the drawbacks of the RP scheme, will remove traffic from the congested harbour area and is cheaper to implement.

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