A mother whose daughter narrowly avoided being killed in a high speed crash on Goonhilly Downs has called for urgent changes to the road.
Bryn Roskilly was driving from St Keverne towards Helston when she was involved in a collision last month with a car coming from the Kennack direction, at Traboe Cross. While Ms Roskilly was not badly hurt, suffering ligament injuries but no broken bones, any passenger in the car would have been killed. It was only by chance that she did not have either of her children, aged just six and seven, with her at the time.
The area is increasingly becoming an accident blackspot, with crashes – many fatal – as well as numerous near misses taking place along that stretch of road. Now Ms Roskilly’s mother, Rachel Roskilly, is insisting that changes are made to prevent further crashes and potential loss of lives.
Mrs Roskilly, whose family owns and runs Roskilly’s Farm and ice cream business near St Keverne, said: “Over the years there have been so many accidents there. People just don’t register [there is a crossroads].”
She believes the problem lies, in particular, with visibility for motorists coming from the Kennack direction, who she thinks see an old “finger”-style signpost the Traboe side of the crossroads and mistake this for the end of the road. Writing to St Keverne Parish Council with her concerns, Mrs Roskilly said: “Logically there would seem to be perfectly adequate signage but despite all the signs and the white strips on the road, somehow the B3293 road itself is not visible when you are coming from the Kennack direction unless there is large traffic on it.”
She has put forward a number of suggestions over how this could be resolved, primarily the “give way” sign being changed to a “stop” sign. Other solutions could be to add rumble strips to the road, take away the old Traboe signpost and replace it with two low signs that could not be seen from a distance, and change the colour of the road.
Bushes should also be kept trimmed and a larger sign could be placed further back on the Kennack road, to give more advanced warning. Mrs Roskilly told the Packet: “To anyone looking at it on a map it would seem obvious where the road is, but for some reason it isn’t.”
Her daughter Bryn, who runs the family’s Archie’s Loft ice cream shop in Coverack, agreed with her mother’s suggestions, saying: “It’s amazing how many people say they had near misses at that point. It’s such a fast road.”
In the case of her crash, the force of the collision pushed her car “quite a distance” onto the Traboe road.
“I’m very lucky to be here. Had I had a passenger they would have certainly died. It’s frightening. I have two young children – it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Photos by AM. Captions: Rachel Roskilly stands at Traboe Cross, where her daughter Bryn was involved in a near-fatal collision. Also, a photo of the crossroads showing the view for motorists coming from the direction of Kennack. Separate story to go underneath St Keverne Parish Council has vowed to fight to improve safety on the main Goonhilly road following the latest major crash there. Last month’s collision at Traboe Cross came less than two weeks after councillors had spoken of the dangers of the road and already agreed to meet with Cornwall Council about possible solutions. This meeting has since taken place with Cormac at the crossroads and was discussed when members met for last week’s parish council meeting. Councillor Roger Combe said: “We all know exactly what the problem is. Most local people know the crossroads is there, [but] when I went and looked at it there isn’t a crossroads sign there. You see the finger post at Rosuick and you get confused.”
He believed the representatives from Cormac had not understood it was an ongoing problem and had been focussing on last month’s collision – despite the parish calling the meeting before it occurred. Council chairman Russell Peters agreed: “They didn’t come forward with any suggestions. They were waiting for the police report from the accident.” Councillor David Lambrick said the council was waiting to put figures into a league table, to see if it was a blackspot. “Until they decided it’s high enough up it doesn’t seem the council will do anything about it. Until people get killed there nothing will happen, which is an horrendous way to go about looking after our roads,” he added. Councillor Tony Carey said: “Accidents of that nature having going on there for many, many years. I think it’s because it’s a very fast bit of road. All they’re looking at is the signpost over the other side of the road. Logically they should see the bigger signs, but obviously they’re not.”
However, Mr Peters feared: “I don’t think we as a council can do anymore than what has been done.”
It was agreed, though, to send a letter to Natural England asking for the withies along the side of the Kennack road to be cut back, in a bid to improve visibility.