Report on Meeting with Adrian Drake, Highways and Environment Manager, Cormac. Held at Lanner Village Hall. 16 May 2018.
Present: Charlotte Caldwell, Adrian Drake, Teresa Marshall, John Thomas, Trevor Wearne, Ashley Wood.
AD stressed that he is not seeking to prevent solutions to Lanner’s speed problems but it is his job to work to the regulations applying to traffic control, to provide the best advice he can give as an experienced highways engineer, and to work within a very limited budget where value for money has to be proven.
There was quite extensive and intensive discussion about the inclusion of favoured schemes within the Community Network Highways Budget, the limited amount of money available to competing schemes within the fourteen Electoral divisions in the CPIR Network, and the importance of parish council/community input into the process: particularly in consultation after the shortlist is determined.
The meeting lasted about two hours and it was clear that the focus has, for now, to be on the A393 and its effects on village life. We will have to return to other issues later: it is not that these have been forgotten.
AW had prepared a spreadsheet from RadarClass surveys over the years showing traffic volumes, the number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit, mean speeds and 85%ile speeds. These figures accompany this report for reference.
The 40mph roundel painted on the road surface had been removed when the speed limit was reduced to 30mph. National traffic regulations state that in a 30mph zone there can be no repeater signage whatsoever: drivers should be aware of the speed limit because of the presence of street lights no more than 200m apart. There has been parliamentary discussion about this (following Report of Transport Select Committee 2002) but it was decided that as repeater signage for 30mph could not be universally applied it should not be applied at all for fear of “confusing” drivers. AW fails to see the logic in this. It is clear that drivers are either not aware of the speed limit or that they are electing to drive as if it is 40mph (in which case they are driving unlawfully), and the widening difference between mean speed and 85%ile speed over the past 5 years shows this to be an increasing issue. However, hands are seemingly tied here.
AD suggested the possibility of a half-way refuge island at the top of Lanner Hill where the bridleway meets the road to make crossing by horse riders and cyclists safer. On reflection, AW does not think this is practical. It would have to be protected and be of sufficient length for a horse: which would severely impact on the width of the carriageway.
High visibility warning signs of a bridleway could help and AD will look into this.
Southern Village Limit.
Despite all parties, including Cllr Mark Kaczmarek, calling for a reduction in the speed limit to 40mph from Comford to the village periphery, AD does not think this will have any material effect on the number of drivers who exceed 30mph when entering that zone. In fact, he thought that there would be a greater conformity to the 30mph limit if the speed limit from Comford was increased to 60mph. This seemed to go against intuitive thought. The last Radar Class survey showed 59% of drivers travelling north past the Playing Field were exceeding the speed limit.
However, AD will investigate the cost of reviewing the speed limit along this stretch (but a review would not mean the criteria for a reduction would be met). The cost could be in the order of £6,000.
Another suggestion from AD was to move the “gateway” into Lanner which would require drivers to break to 30mph earlier. Again, he will investigate the possibility and cost of doing this.
The parish council could consider funding the upgrade of the second 30mph speed limit sign to a high visibility standard in line with the existing one. This would cost about £300.
It was also suggested that the land owner of the tree partly obscuring and reducing the impact of the 30mph sign to drivers entering the village could be asked to carry out tree surgery work to alleviate this. JT said he would follow up on this matter.
The Village as a Whole
AD suggested that the most efficient and cost-effective way of slowing down traffic is to organise on-street parking so that it produces a chicane effect similar to that on the approach into Redruth. This can be done by running double yellow lines through the village leaving sufficient gaps to enable normal residents’ parking: though in some cases this will be across the road from where people live. Such a scheme would also be backed by a total ban on anyone parking on the pavement.
It is suggested that the parish council takes a car count of vehicles parked on the roadside in the evening on a couple of days marking on a map numbers and locations. AD will then design a scheme to go to consultation in the community. Essentially, people then vote on whether they consider the risk to their wing mirrors is greater than the risk to their children. He will go with whatever the vote says.
Visually Activated Signs
The MVRG plan for considering a shared mobile VAS was outlined and there is no problem with this as long as the sites for operation are approved. Carn Brea parish already has one which was bought from their reserves.
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.