Has Council Made U-Turn On Speed Limits?

It’s unclear whether a plan to introduce 20mph speed limits on St Mary’s is still going ahead.

Last June, Chief Technical Officer Neville Gardner presented details of how a lower speed limit could be introduced through Hugh Town and along Old Town Road as far as the airport turning.

This included details of the type and locations of any signs that would need to be installed and Councillors voted in favour of introducing the 20 mph speed limits.

They said road hauliers and emergency services would be consulted, as well as the general public, and a final decision brought back to Full Council.

However, over a year on, it’s unclear exactly what progress has been made.

Sergeant Colin Taylor says he spoke to experts at Devon and Cornwall Police shortly after he arrived here last year about how the 20mph zones could be enforced here.

They recommended that any zones would need to be accompanied by traffic calming measures, such as chicanes and bollards, to slow cars down. Colin added it’s force policy not to enforce 20mph limits without these measures as, he says, cars will just continue to speed on a straight road.

We asked Mr Gardner what progress had been made on the work and whether the consultation had started, but he declined to comment.

However a Council spokesperson said the Community Safety Partnership, which covers the Council, Emergency Services and Primary Care Trust, fully endorses the introduction of measures to reduce the speed of traffic in some areas of St Mary’s.

They’ll be further discussing this issue in the coming months, in particular the new speed limit proposals from the Department for Transport, currently under consultation.

They added that the Partnership is delighted at the Local Authority’s decision to appoint a ‘Lollipop Person’ for a trial period and they expect this will alleviate many of the concerns of local residents and school users adjacent to the Five Islands School entrance at critical times.

However, they said the route from the airport to the school is still one that needs further work.”

Sergeant Taylor told us that the implementation of the 20mph zones is the responsibility of the Technical Services Department, not the Community Safety Partnership and he’s pressing Mr Gardner for further details on progress.


13 Responses to Has Council Made U-Turn On Speed Limits?

  1. Keith July 22, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I am in great favour of traffic calming measures throughout the 20 mph area many people drive too fast, we need speed cushions not speed humps as these do not affect emergency vehicles. Also people do make too many unnecessary car trips, PLEASE think before you drive is it necessary could you walk or make one trip later

  2. Mark Prebble July 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

    All credit to Scilly Today for this subject alive.
    While the issue of speed and its potential to kill is fairly obvious to those of us who have to suffer the traffic i’m sure we all know someone who drives too fast. How about asking your friend/partner/neighbour why they drive so fast around elder people and children.
    Peer pressure has been shown to be effective in addressing antisocial problems and heaven forbid that there should be a tragic accident involving someone you love. Please consider acting now before it’s too late.

  3. Joe July 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Again, this is straying off topic from the subject of the article itself. Times have changed, more vehicles are here now. Golf buggie’s aren’t the future, where do you think most of that power comes from to charge the yellow monstrosities? And who said we are racing around over here like Nicky Lauder? Most people stick to under the speed limit (60mph) and drive within the limits of the narrow roads and other vehicles. And yes, I will agree that the turning out of Pilots Retreat is dangerous, it also doesn’t help when cars park on the side of the hill blocking your view! Another place is outside of Mundesley going into Hugh Town, cars all along the left hand side obscure your view down the road until you have to go around them when it’s too late, no matter what speed you’re doing. Hence why I agree with the traffic calming measures between Old Town and Hugh Town only.

  4. Bav July 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Even if you walk on the pavement you’re not out of danger. Plenty of cars drive on the pavement on Higher Strand when overtaking or getting passed parked cars there. People have the right to own and drive cars, it should just be a matter of consideration to others.

  5. IanT. July 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I first visited Scilly in 1965 and lived there for twelve years during which time I never felt the need to own a vehicle even though my wife and I ran a business, Whenever we visit now we are amazed at the number of vehicles and especially at the size of them. Some of the driving is apalling and would soon result in an accident here on the mainland.
    The introduction of the so-called golf buggies can only be a step in the right direction reducing polution and running costs dramatically and, of course, the speed of traffic. What’s the big hurry..?? You can only cut seconds of your journey and racing on the road is illegal anyway. Paying your tax and insurance does not give you the right to drive at any speed you want as you will soon find out here in Devon.
    There have been complaints about the price of fuel on Scilly and, for some unknown reason, you have been granted a 5p/litre reduction. Unless you drive hundreds of miles each week does this make any real difference to your outgoings? No! If you want to reduce your costs get a smaller car – or a buggy!

  6. Todd Stevens July 20, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I got to say that up by Mary Wilsons house is a nightmare. It does’nt matter how slowly anyone tries to come out of that turning-if another vehicle is coming up the hill from hugh town, you almost run into them. Especially when they come belting up the hill like they do. Please start your calming measures down in hugh town and again by the main church -and take it right past the new school and through Old Town.

  7. Tony Cherry July 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Joe, your point’s fair, but the problem is if we agree there should be a 20mph zone smaller than the whole island, we then risk further delay while people argue the toss about where the boundary should be. I don’t drive here so I have no empirical evidence about how long it takes to drive into Hughtown but as a matter of arithmetic, driving 3 miles at 30mph takes 6 minutes, at 20mph takes 9 minutes. On a reasonable cost benefit analysis, my view is that 3 minutes added to the longest probable journey time is a justified cost for the benefit of materially improved road safety. I think you’re being a bit unfair. I didn’t say life here IS slow paced, I said that’s the way it’s marketed. Happy driving!

  8. Sue July 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Yes we pay our tax and insurance and so we have the right to charge around St Mary’s at whatever speed we want – but given our reliance on the tourism industry perhaps we might consider that’s not the most sensible thing to do? We islanders may feel that our pressures and pace of life are not much different to the mainland but surely that’s what our visitors are hoping for a couple of weeks respite from. I have a retail and accommodation business on Scilly and the volume and pace (and attitude) of traffic on St Mary’s comes very high up on the negative side of visitor comments.

  9. Ann July 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    St Mary’s accommodation owners may be interested in the number of visitors who now stay on off-islands because ‘St Mary’s is busier than my home village so I don’t want to go there on holiday anymore’.

  10. Joe July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    The suggestions about people not to have cars is ridiculous. If you want to pay the tax, insurance and sometimes MOT to drive on the roads over here then you are well within your right to own a motor vehicle and drive as much as you like, end of. As for the speed limit, fair enough, 20mph between Hugh Town and Old Town is quite adequate, but 20mph for the whole island (Tony)… No. There are plenty of places where you can exceed 20mph and safely. It’s the golf buggies driving at this slow pace that causes ‘tailbacks’ and encourage dangerous overtaking! And where do people get this ‘slow paced’ cliche way of life for islanders over here? Most people I know (including myself) work very hard all week to earn a living, much like people on the mainland. And may I suggest that you, and other tourists, stick to the pavements when you hear a vehicle coming, that way you won’t be hit by one, do you remember the green cross code? Still applies over here on the tiny A3110.

  11. Stuart July 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with Frank. There is no reason for anyone living in Hugh Town to own a car (except tradesman). Perhaps if the council organized a regular round island bus service every 15min from 07:00-23:00 then there would be no need for half the cars on the island

    The latest blight is those awful golf buggy’s

  12. Frank July 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I think there is an overall issue regarding traffic on st marys, though if you had to guess where an accident may happen then you’d say that Old Town would be a good guess, as would hugh street.

    The Council ARE doing something about speed, hence the lollipop guard, so it’s rather unfair to suggest that they are just walking away from the problem.

  13. Tony Cherry July 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I’m a holiday homer and “when I can” visitor, so my views are secondary to islanders. Although it’s sometimes hard to believe quite so many cars are really necessary (might car share work?) I understand that if you’re elderly or infirm, live out of Hughtown, or have work to do a car is hard to do without. But what possible reason can there be, in such a small place, ever to drive anywhere at more than 20mph? It’s no good marketing the slow pace of life to tourists then treating Hugh St like Silverstone? My daughters were nearly knocked over opposite the chemists yesterday by someone turning the corner much too fast, which ten years ago would have been as likely as being abducted by aliens. Seems to me we don’t need signs and a limit, just a bit of consideration and common sense. Try imagining a dead 11 year old each time you press the throttle?