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Traffic ban plan for Helston hill
9:30am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
A public meeting is likely to be held over a bid to close Helston's Penhellaz Hill to traffic.
Led by a group of residents of Cross Street, a petition by Steve Stewart has been signed by 50 people from all parts of the town in favour of the proposal.
Last week Helston's town councillors were asked for their support, with James Buchanan - who has lived in Cross Street since 2006 - saying it was “not appropriate” to allow the current volumes of traffic.
Mr Buchanan said: “It's not acceptable to expose our children to current dangers involving traffic and pollution near Parc Eglos Primary School and Helston Community College,” adding that the damage to the conservation area was “obvious.”
He said the current setup encouraged people to bypass the town and not stop to spend their money.
Satellite navigation systems were blamed, but he believed the problem was drivers who know “exactly where they're going.”
“Cross Street traffic is anti residents and represents a very real danger to children who live here and never get to play safely outside their homes,” added Mr Buchanan.
Tom Suddes, who also lives on Cross Street, said the group had “grave concerns” about the pedestrians using the street, with an estimated 2,000 children heading to and from school each day.
“Encouraged to walk or cycle to school, the traffic on Cross Street and Church Hill is often fast and furious. A serious accident is waiting to happen”, he said.
Mr Suddes said heavy traffic connected with the Water-ma-Trout industrial needed to be highlighted, adding it should be routed “in a more sensible direction” around the town.
Michael Jay, who owns Lismore house and gardens on Cross Street, said the fact it was legal for vehicles to park on the kerbside after 6pm was adding to the problem.
When cars were parked on both sides of the road it was “impossible” to get an emergency vehicle down the road.
Councillor Niall Devenish believed the issue was part of a wider problem in Helston, which needed a “cohesive traffic management plan”.
He added that the town now had so many roundabouts it was “mimicking Milton Keynes.”
Mr Devenish feared relocating traffic from Cross Street was “likely to move the problem somewhere else.”
Councillor Mike Thomas, a teacher and former governor of Helston Community College, said: “I think we should be encouraging people to really think about whether they need to drive down through Cross Street or can think of other ways to reach their destinations.”
Members backed Councillor Sue Swift's proposal that town clerk Chris Dawson write to Cornwall Council's highways officers asking for a public meeting, while at the same time worked towards “a holistic traffic plan” for Helston.
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