Notes on Speed Meeting – Lanner Village Hall. 18 April 2018
Guests: Inspector Mark Eccles; PCSO Ellie Grey; Adrian Drake (Cormac); Cornwall Councillors John Thomas and Mark Kaczmarek.
Estimates are that there were about 70 people present.
The lead subject was Speedwatch and most people were interested, some more volunteers gained although some expressed cynicism that this was a distraction from a more direct and aggressive action against speed.
It was certainly the principal aim of the police to ensure Speedwatch was the focal point of the debate and it was equally certain that it is the only course of action immediately available to the community. It is, of course, not a solution: it is a means of gathering information to justify other actions, but also to challenge drivers to think more about their speed habits.
Volunteers can apply directly to Ellie Grey or through John Thomas. Applicants need to show ID but no longer have to be vetted. Volunteer groups of 12 – 15 are ideal because that means no one has to commit too much time and there is plenty of capacity to allow for holidays, illness and so on.
Volunteers can decide to monitor traffic as they see fit – daily, weekly or even less frequently. Each volunteer should normally do a one-hour session: half an hour in each direction. Sites have to be approved by police for health & safety as volunteers are covered by police insurance.
Lanner has one approved site at present which is close to Lanner Moor Garage.
Speedwatch operates in areas where there is a 40mph limit or below.
Where cars are identified as speeding then police can send letters to offenders, including commercial firms where their drivers have offended. Speedwatch groups can publicise their results as this aids deterrence.
Comment was made that the time lag between offence and receiving letter (possibly up to three weeks) could dilute its effect.
It was suggested that the school could ask police to give a talk on speed and go out with some of the older children to flag down offenders.
There was very strong support for average speed cameras. The general feeling was that these would have an immediate impact. It was put that the average cost of such a system was about £250,000. Running costs were up to £20,000 pa to run. There are over 200 sites in Cornwall under investigation for average speed cameras so, given Lanner’s relatively low accident rate/evidence of speeding, our chances of getting average speed cameras are very low.
It was suggested running an experiment using roadworks average speed checks.
Speed cameras were discussed per se and an emerging safety camera partnership idea was mentioned. This idea is for parish/town councils to contribute (£200 was mentioned) to operate a mobile speed camera in their parish/town on a certain number of days each year. It was not clear who would decide when these days were to be or where the camera would be placed. Offenders would be fined and loose points or attend a speed awareness course.
In discussing speed limits, it was stated that any deviation from the national speed limit (60 mph) requires 400m of built up frontage with 20 or more properties fronting each 100m. This was used to argue against a reduced speed limit for roads such as Bell Veor.
The policy towards speed management was determined in 2008 and can be found at
Government Guidance on setting speed limits can be found at:
The need to reduce speeds of vehicles entering and leaving the village was emphasised as an essential to improve safety. Both Cornwall Councillors agreed to push for a reduction in the speed limit from Comford to the village 30mph sign from 50mph to 40mph.
It was argued by Cormac and the police that the “mean and 85th percentile speeds” from RadarClass statistics did not suggest that there is a worrying speed problem through the village. While these figures may be helpful for comparative purposes in the allocation of scarce resources they belie the real risk to pedestrians and property simply by virtue of the number of vehicles which exceed the speed limit. Reference was made to recent RadarClass statistics from Lanner Hill which the parish council had not seen. Adrian Drake also proffered the view that high speeds could be overstated because of “blue light” traffic: I would question the frequency and significance of this.
Mark Kaczmarek stated that 30mph along Pennance was too fast and that people don’t look at signs so something more needs to be done.
John Thomas gave information on imminent “Twenty is Plenty” signage to go up at Bell Veor, Church Row and Tresavean. He also gave a brief report on his schemes submitted to the Devolution Highway Scheme Budget for CPIR.
It was put that the total cost to society of a fatality in a road incident is about £1m.
Traffic calming measures found a mixed response. On-street car parking reduces road width and this causes a reduction in speed. On the other hand, some residents feared having their visibility reduced as they pulled out of their drive or even being blocked in. Speed humps and build-outs are not a solution on an A-Class road. Other ideas included a roundabout at the Coppice and the installation of an additional pedestrian refuge (£15,000 plus design and consultation fees).
A full range of ideas can be found at:
New RadarClass material.
- Survey top of Lanner Hill, 8 days from 31 01 2017. Speed Limit 30mph.
The map indicates the readings were taken just above the junction with Pennance Road. This suggests that the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit might be artificially reduced because of vehicles joining or leaving the A393 here.
There also appears a very significant reduction of vehicles going in both directions through the village on Tuesdays!!
The average number of vehicles recorded was 10,202 per day. 5,205 travelling north and 4,997 south.
The mean speed northerly is 29.5mph and southerly 32mph. On the weekends, this is 32mph and 33mph respectively.
51% of vehicles driving towards Redruth are breaking the speed limit. This is 2,654 vehicles per day. That is what a mean speed of 29.5 mph means. On weekends, when more cyclists, horse riders and walkers are crossing the road, this increases to 67% of traffic or 2,829 vehicles per day. The daily average number of those exceeding 40mph is 364 and for the weekend figure 506.
For vehicles driving towards the village 62% exceed the speed limit. This is 3,098 vehicles per day. On weekends this increases to 69% of traffic or 2,875 vehicles per day. The daily average number of those exceeding 40mph is 474 and for the weekend figure 625.
So, in total we have on average 5,752 vehicles breaking the speed limit and 838 exceeding 40mph.
- Survey at Pentreath Terrace (Playing Field), 8 days from 31 01 2017. Speed Limit 30mph.
The average number of vehicles recorded was 7,241 per day. 3,196 travelling north and 4,045 south.
The mean speed northerly is 29.7mph and southerly 30.6mph. On the weekends, this is 31mph and 32mph respectively.
45% of vehicles driving through the village towards Redruth are breaking the speed limit. This is 1,438 vehicles per day. On weekends this increases to 52% of traffic or 1,616 vehicles per day. The daily average number of those exceeding 40mph is 76 and for the weekend only the figure is 96.
For vehicles driving towards Falmouth through the village 56% exceed the speed limit. This is 2,265 vehicles per day. On weekends this increases to 65% of traffic or 2,272 vehicles per day. The daily average number of those exceeding 40mph is 137 and for the weekend figure 184.
So, in total we have on average 3,703 vehicles breaking the speed limit while actually driving through the village itself and 213 exceeding 40mph.