Two new speed cameras have been installed by Jenoptik on a busy stretch of the A390 in Cornwall, with the immediate effect on traffic already making a councillor feel “euphoric”.
Positioned at either end of St Ann’s Chapel, the cameras are bi-directional, meaning they will detect speeding motorists travelling on both sides of the road.
The work follows several years of campaigning and data gathering by the local community to address the issue of speeding motorists.
Dorothy Kirk, Cornwall Council local member for Calstock, said: “I’m delighted to see the speed cameras in place and have received many favourable comments from local residents. The A390 through St Ann’s Chapel has seen many accidents and much damage to vehicles in recent years and it is imperative, for the safety of local residents – especially the children – that drivers respect the speed limit. It is reassuring to know now that the prospect of being caught on camera should deter those drivers who might otherwise have risked ignoring the 30mph limit. Cornwall Council officers have been very helpful and responsive, and I thank them for their patience and their diligence. I hope we can all now look forward to a safer future.”
Councillor John Wells from Calstock Parish Council, added: “St. Ann’s Chapel is essentially a large, long and mainly linear village with residents living on both sides of the very busy A390; it also has two junior and pre-schools situated just off the main road. The huge growth of traffic through the village in the past few years is now estimated to be between 2.5 and 3 million vehicles a year, and speeding is a serious concern for the local community.
“In October last year we started a Community Speedwatch group. Only a few weeks ago we recorded 14 vehicles travelling at reportable speeds (35 mph or more) in one quiet ‘off peak’ hour.
“The new bi-directional speed cameras have only been installed for a few days, yet the change in traffic behaviour is so noticeable that many people have already commented to me on how much safer the road already appears to be. It seems that the cameras are already have a positive impact.
“When asked how I feel about these cameras I give a one word answer: ‘euphoric’. This is the culmination of many years effort to obtain funding and permission to have them installed.”
With the speed cameras now in place, new pedestrian crossing points will be built to make it easier for families wishing to walk or cycle to school.
Connor Donnithorne, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, explained: “As a key transport route, there are limits to the engineering options available to make changes to the highway.
“Speed limits are there for a reason. This isn’t making life difficult for motorists, or generating income – it’s about protecting road users and the communities that live around busy routes.
“I would much rather drivers respected speed limits in place to protect residential areas than for speed cameras or highway changes to force them into it. But where there are issues, we will work with communities to assess the need and possible solutions.”
The work is being carried out in partnership between Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.
Chief Inspector Ben Asprey, head of roads policing at Devon and Cornwall Police, made the point: “Speed continues to be a prevalent factor in all too many road traffic collisions that take place within Devon and Cornwall and is one of the five causational factors linked to fatal road traffic collisions.
“I would encourage drivers and riders on our roads to leave plenty of time for their journey and consider the consequences of exceeding the speed limit, which could result in a financial penalty, penalty points on your driving licence, and in exceptional circumstances a custodial sentence.”
Cornwall County Council says that, while requests for speed reduction measures often exceed the level of funding available, it is committed to reviewing issues raised and prioritising schemes accordingly.
(Picture – Cornwall CC)