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Drivers in Cornwall slow down, except in Helston
2:00pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
Speed limits have been reduced on roads across Cornwall – except for one in Helston, on which drivers can now go faster.
Signs have this week gone up to indicate that the Helston relief road, part of the A394, now has a speed limit of 50mph - an increase of 10mph.
Cornwall Council took the decision after acknowledging it was a “wide, open road” that did not “have the feel” of a 40mph stretch.
Peter Tatlow, regional engineer for Cornwall Council contractors Cormac, said all highway authorities in England were obliged to carry out a review of the speed limits on all A and B roads, in order to get “some element of consistency” across the country.
He said: “The reviews have generally recommended either the retention of the existing limit/national speed limit, or the implementation of a lower limit.
“The Helston relief road is the only section of road where we are actually increasing the limit. This is because for a high-standard modern road with restricted direct access, 40mph is artificially low and therefore likely to be ignored by large numbers of drivers and 50mph is more appropriate.
“The review showed that speeds on the Helston relief road were averaging well above 40mph.”
When asked for their views last December Helston’s town councillors were split.
During a meeting of the planning committee councillor Mike Thomas, seconded by mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby, proposed support of the speed limit increase, but with a tied vote from other members the matter was referred to the full council.
Here, after a robust debate, the council ultimately gave its support of the increase – but not without five of the councillors recording their name in protest at the decision.
Then councillors Sue Swift, David Swift and Niall Devenish, together with existing councillors John Boase and John Martin, had voted against the increase, asking that the 40mph speed limit on that road be maintained in the interests of highway safety for both vehicles and pedestrians crossing the road.
However, with a tied vote, Mr Radford-Gaby, in his position as mayor, was giving a second, casting vote that gave the support of the council.
Other areas of the town have been reduced, however, including Meneage Road which is now 30mph.
Similarly Newtown and Longdowns, plus the stretch between Ashton and Breage, are also now 30mph.
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