Anyone travelling on the Porthleven Road will have noticed the traffic lights near Penrose Corner. These have been there for a while until the repair work starts. This repair work is now scheduled to start in January. The repair work will result in the road being closed for around 12 weeks due to the extensive nature of the repair work.
This will mean all traffic in and out of Porthleven will be along Methleigh Bottoms and Stop-gate. Added to the issue, there will be an increase in traffic up and down Fore Street. As Fore Street has limited-time parking, there is a potential for added congestion if this parking was allowed to continue during the repairs. Therefore, I am looking into suspending parking on Fore Street for the duration of the repairs. I believe this is unavoidable and I know people will be unhappy with this.
I will inform everyone as soon as I have a confirmed start date for repair work.
I have been informed by Cormac – Cornwall Council’s Highway Department – that there will be long term installation of temporary traffic lights on the Porthleven Road (B3304) at the foot of Penrose Hill.
Recent monitoring of the road and retaining walls at the foot of Penrose Hill, it has been decided that traffic should be restricted to using the centre of the road only. This is due to problems with the retaining walls either side and the result of their movement has led to visible cracking of the carriageway surface.
Although sudden failure of the walls has been considered unlikely it is felt prudent to keep traffic loading to the centre of the road and away from the walls. In order to do this, temporary traffic lights are to be installed which will be running 24 hours a day until such time as the walls can be strengthened.
These retaining walls were already identified within the bridge and retaining wall strengthening programme and had been programmed for January 2014 start on site.
Anyone travelling along this stretch of road will see parts of the road has slightly collapsed. I asked if the lights had to be installed this early, especially during the holiday period. I was told it had to be done to reduce the fault being made worse. Even though the work has been booked in for January, I have requested the remedial work is done as soon as possible. Hopefully before January.
I will keep you informed when I have further information.
I have received good news from Cornwall Council’s highway engineers on my proposals for the reduction of speed limits on roads leading into Porthleven. I am very pleased to say the proposals to reduce the speed limits from 60 mph to 40 mph have been officially approved.
The two roads that will see this change is the Porthleven Road and the road leading to (and from) Stopgate. This work is set to be completed by March, which further good news. A further change is extending the 30 mph zone on Beacon Road.
On the 9th January 2013 large cracks were located in the carriageway along the A394 Helston to Penzance road at Little Antron. The cracking has been caused by subsidence, due to the partial collapse and large bulging within the highway retaining wall at this location.
As a result, an emergency lane closure was established to the westbound lane of the A394. The lane is likely to remain closed at this location for several months whilst CORMAC Solutions Ltd carry out further investigations followed by the implementation of an appropriate remedial solution.
This could result in more traffic coming through Porthleven, which could mean Fore Street being quite congested.
Road Collapsing on A394
I previously blogged about changes to the speed limits in Porthleven. This proposal is on the larger scale and if implemented will change the whole B3304 from Porthleven to Helston from 60mph to 40mph.
I am not sure everyone will be in agreement, but that is what a consultation is for. As even if it not met with widespread approval, I am sure some elements could be introduced like the reduction of speed leading up to Penrose corner and the hill down towards the boating lake. Then again, from experience of driving along this stretch of road, you would rarely get about 45mph; so this could not be that much of a change.
Anyway, as I said before, Please take part in the consultation, by going HERE and giving your views online, or send me those views via letter or email and I will make sure they get to the right place. The consultation runs from 8th November till 29th November.
A new speed limit is proposed to introduce a 40mph buffer zone on the northern side of Porthleven on the B3304 to the A394 Stopgate (currently 60) and to extend the 30mph speed limit on Beacon Road in Porthleven.
This is something I have been asking for a while, and I am very pleased Cornwall Council has set up a consultation to gather people’s views prior to any changes. It is a must that the speed limit along this stretch of road is reduced. It is a fast road, and there have been many accidents and at least one death that I know of on this road. I am supporting this change, and I hope the people of Porthleven will do too.
It is important people take part in the consultation, which can been accessed HERE. Or send me an email and I will pass on those views. The consultation runs from 8th November till 29th November.
And the extension to Beacon Rd
Back in November 2011, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet approved a revised set of charges for Traffic Management at community events (and other). This is the process someone who is organising an event has to go through if the event has some impact on a highway. Now, several months later, this proposals are out for public consultation which includes the town and parish Council’s.
The good news is a small street party on a residential street is remaining free. This is very welcomed as charging for these types of events will make it unaffordable to hold a simple street party. The real changes come for larger events. For instance, a Village Fete (< 5000) is currently free, but the proposal is to charge £130. A Town Carnival (< 5000) will see a charge of £260; currently being free. A large Agricultural Show will remain the same at £800. National events like Remembrance events will not be charged.
A big change to the system is signage. In many cases now, you can get the signage from the council for free. Now under these proposals signage will not be provided by the council. You will now have to source your own. However, for a town council, there is a proposals for Cornwall Council to give you a grant, or even fully fund a stock of signage. This then will be used by community groups, but held and maintained by the town council.
So what do you think of these new proposals? Want to make a comment? Well you can, by clicking HERE for the full consultation paper and how to submit your views. And HERE for the Consultation Form. You have until 31st October to respond.
It is accepted that as long as we have roads, they will need to be maintained and repaired. Sometimes this maintenance is time-consuming, frustrating and expensive. Council’s and some utility companies do send letters, but these are normally only sent to the affected areas. That means many people will not know of work being carried out until they find themselves diverted, or joining a traffic queue.
There is however a website that holds all the current and many proposed road works in the whole of the UK. This includes Cornwall Council’s work. I signed up today, and found the process simple and finished the process in a few minutes. You can opt-in to receive emails daily, weekly or fortnightly. You can also target a certain areas, roads, or distance from a postcode. Plans are being worked on to make this site more ‘smart-phone’ friendly which I think is a great idea.
Here is the link to this great website: http://www.roadworks.org/
The current state of Porthleven’s Fore Street has been highlighted by a few concerned residents. For anyone who knows Fore Street, the pavements along this stretch of road are almost a history lesson in their own right. They date anything between the turn of the 20th century right up to the 21st. Out of these concerns, I asked if Cornwall Council’s Highway Dept would meet me on site to discuss these concerns.
At the bottom of Fore Street, outside Boots, the pavement is quite badly damaged. The reason for this damage is because HGV’s park on the pavement which damage the slabs. It may seem obvious, but pavements are not designed for HGV’s to park on them. The Highways Officer has agreed to look into the costings of replacing these slabs, most probably with a more tarmac type of surface. The Officer has also agree it would be pointless to redo the pavement, then a HGV comes along and ruins it again. So, as an added measure, a couple of metal bollards will be installed to deter HGV’s along the pavement.
The pavement outside of Boots
The pavement outside of Boots is not the only concern that has been raised. The other stretch of pavement has a historical connection to Porthleven, and it is probably one of the earliest pavements in Porthleven that has survived. The cobbled part of the pavement has become very hazardous because it is so uneven, and when wet, it is very slippery. I have myself witnessed people slipping over on this stretch of pavement.
However, any change to this pavement could raise objections from within the community. I want to avoid that, but something has to happen to make this stretch of pavement safer. Therefore I have asked the Highways Dept to look at various options for this stretch of path. It was interesting that whilst we were having this site meeting people gave us their views as to what could be done. This ranged from covering over it, roughing it up, levelling it out, or doing nothing.
At the end of the day much will rest on how much each option will cost. If the argument is to make it safe, then it might have to be one of the cheaper options. The problem will be convincing this is the right option. I did learn today that this type of pavement was very common in Cornwall. The stones used as cobbles were in fact ships ballast.
The Cobbled part of Fore Street
I am looking into the feasibility of re-introducing a School Crossing Patrol (SCP) in Porthleven between the bus stop and Sunset Gardens. This stretch of road is rather busy, and it is claimed by many to be fast. Many will know there used to be a SCP, but this stopped many years ago and no one seems to know why.
The plan is for this site to be inspected for suitability for the (which it is) SCP. Then a survey is undertaken on how many cars travel along this stretch of road at school times. Once this data has been collected, it is compared with national guidelines. If it does meet those guidelines a report is written supporting the SCP.
Of course, with any scheme there is a cost. In general terms a site setup can cost around £3000. This includes signage, flashing lights and drop kerbs. There is also an average annual cost of around £4500 of running and staffing a site.
In the meantime I am also looking at placing another ‘island crossing’ in the same area. This will be similar to the one I had fitted between the Boating Lake and the Fairground Car Park. However, the cost of this is likley to be in excess of £10,000, and my highways budget has been fairly depleted because of other projects like Gibson Way. Still, I will keep trying.