Dobwalls bypass in SE Cornwall is now open - and that's official! In fact all four lanes were in operation just before last Christmas but, as usually the case, there was a certain amount of work still to be done after the full width of road had been completed and Thursday saw Roads Minister Paul Clark escape the Westminster hothouse and his Kent constituency of 'Gillingham and Rainham' to come west and do the official plaque unveiling. Looking at his CV incidentally I see that he was born in Gillingham and it is good to note an MP representing an area with which he has a real connection rather than being parachuted in to a safe seat somewhere else. I believe that his majority is just a few hundred so he could be looking for a new job come the General Election though.
Last time I drove the Dobwalls bypass it was still under construction so I am looking forward to experiencing the final result. I may have mentioned this before but the Dobwalls project is an example of a road improvement that was very much needed but the sort of thing that many environmentalists oppose. I admire the tenacity of groups such as 'The Friends of the Earth' but where I take issue with such organisations is when they exhibit blanket opposition to road construction. Let's say I could wave the magic wand and stop any increase in traffic, even reduce it a bit, but the vehicle numbers through Dobwalls would still make life intolerable for the locals if there was no bypass. Emissions would be higher with the stop-start motoring too. I like to think that I am as concerned as most about the environment but I find that I can't join bodies such as 'Friends of the Earth' because they are just too dogmatic.
There is a large roundabout at the west end of the new bypass where the traffic streams split between the A38 heading for Bodmin and the A390 going off to Lostwithiel and St Austell. The 38 going through the Glynn Valley is particularly poor and I'm glad to see a roundabout rather than a more expensive flyover because west bound traffic needs slowing down considerably after many miles of dual carriageway. I'll have to find a reason to use the new road before too long!