Details of the second phase of Penzance’s Healthy Streets scheme have been confirmed, with proposals to reduce traffic speeds in the town centre and surrounding residential areas, additional pedestrian crossings and new signs to encourage more through traffic to use the A30 rather than driving through the town.
What is the scheme?
Part of the wider Healthy Streets PZ scheme aimed at reducing traffic and pollution levels in the town and creating a better environment for all, the proposals have been finalised following extensive consultation with local residents, businesses and partners.
In addition to detailed analysis of the responses to the public consultation which took place earlier this year, Cornwall Council highways officers carried out a series of site visits with local representatives to key locations within the town. Information from these visits has also been used to shape the final proposals.
The specific details are:
- A new 20mph speed limit in Penzance town centre and the residential areas up to Alexandra Road
- Modified road signage directing more traffic to the town centre car parks, and through traffic to use the A30 and the existing primary route network as intended
- Five new uncontrolled pedestrian crossings on Western Promenade Road, together with planters to help narrow the road and reduce speed to improve access and movement for pedestrians
- New speed monitoring and signage on New Road, Newlyn to reduce traffic speeds travelling towards Newlyn
This scheme will also improve accessibility by providing new crossings points with tactile paving to support visually impaired people and five new disabled parking spaces at the western end of Promenade Road in front of the arcade.
“We listened carefully to all the feedback we received from local residents and businesses when preparing the final details of this stage of the scheme“ said Councillor Jonathan How, the Mayor of Penzance and a member of the Healthy Streets PZ working group.
“There was overwhelming public support for the 20 mph speed limit and so this element has been introduced ahead of the rest of the scheme.”
Around 100 new 20 mph signs have been erected across the town. The new speed limit in these areas came into operation at the end of July. Plans are also being developed to extend the 20mph speed limit to Treneere.
“I have been contacted by a number of people living in and around Treneere who are extremely concerned that the proposal to direct through traffic to use the A30 rather than driving through the town will lead to an increase in the number of vehicles driving past their homes” said Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Councillor for Penzance East.
“I am delighted to confirm that the highways team are now developing plans to extend the 20 mph speed limit to this area as well”.
Another aim of the second phase of the Healthy Streets scheme is to improve facilities and safety for pedestrians by providing additional pedestrian crossings on Alexandra Road and Western Promenade Road. These crossings, along with narrowing of the carriageway in places using planters, will help reduce vehicles speeds and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
“After analysing feedback to the suggested plans, we have worked with partners to produce a final scheme which provides crossing points in key places along these well used roads at the same time as retaining parking spaces for local residents and visitors” explained Jonathan How.
As well as creating a better environment for local residents and visitors during the peak holiday season, it is hoped that the Healthy Streets scheme will also encourage more people to visit the town in the shoulder months.
Work on providing the new crossings and signage is expected to start later in the Autumn.
New directional signs and additional speed monitoring to reduce the volume and speed of traffic travelling towards Newlyn are also being delivered as part of this Healthy Streets scheme.
“Some people in Newlyn and Mousehole have already expressed concerns about the impact of future proposals on their communities” said local Cornwall Councillor Thalia Marrington. “I would like to reassure the local community that no decisions have been made and there are certainly no plans to force all drivers to come down though Newlyn Coombe.
“Retaining access for Newlyn and Mousehole will be vital to the success of the overall Healthy Streets scheme and we will be talking to local residents and businesses to understand their concerns before work begins on developing any draft proposals. ”
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for transport Philip Desmonde said: “Cornwall Council is keen to support and enable this community led scheme to promote green travel, reduce carbon emissions and help revitalise the town.
“It is heartening to see how listening to the views of the community and the desire to all work together, is helping to introduce measures to help tackle the climate emergency and improve the environment for everyone. It goes to the heart of my policy theme on Quality of Life within our street scenes.”
In addition to the Healthy Streets proposals to increase opportunities for walking and cycling on the promenade, work is continuing to develop a range of other projects across Penzance to support the town’s commitment to promoting green and active travel.
Supported by Penzance Town Deal, the Future High Street Fund and Accelerator funding, these include creating a fully sustainable network of safe and accessible walking, and cycling routes, with 15 km of local cycling routes connecting residents and visitors to the town, schools and the waterfront, and cycle parking.
Penzance and Newlyn have seen new shelters providing 190 bicycle parking spaces for use by both residents and visitors installed in seven Cornwall Council and one Penzance Council owned car parks. There is also a new bus shelter on Market Jew Street which is fully enclosed and provides a greater amount of space for people to wait for their bus. Other future projects include a new shop mobility scheme and the creation of 4000 sqm of improved public realm and urban green space.
Work is also continuing on monitoring the impact of the first phase of the Healthy Streets scheme. There has been a big reduction in the amount of traffic driving through Market Jew Street and an increase in the numbers of people walking and cycling across the town since the scheme was introduced.
However, while tickets have continued to be issued to people found to be breaching the restrictions, the team are also continuing to investigate additional enforcement measures. These include forthcoming changes in legislation that could provide Cornwall Council with new powers to use number plate recognition cameras as part of the enforcement process. There will be more information on this in the coming weeks.
“This is an exciting moment for Penzance as we confirm details of the second phase of our Healthy Streets scheme” said Penzance BID Manager Jessica Morris.
“This is part of the wider strategy to regenerate the town and ensure a sustainable future for Penzance and it is great to see our ambitions becoming reality.”
You can find more information about the scheme and the next planned phase on the Love Penzance website.