PZ Healthy Streets
PZ Healthy Streets
Penzance is developing plans to make the town more pedestrian friendly, as part of a bold new vision to tackle climate emergency, attract new investment & businesses and boost the local economy.
Part of an exciting vision to make Penzance a thriving place for the future, the Healthy Streets Transport scheme aims to reduce through traffic and encourage more people to leave the car at home by creating pedestrianised areas in the town centre, developing new accessible routes, promoting walking and cycling and providing other more sustainable forms of transport. Developed by Cornwall Council in partnership with Penzance Town Council, Penzance Business Improvement District (BID) and Sustainable Penzance, the trial scheme will be delivered in three main phases over the next 12 months.
Work on the first phase – to pedestrianise Market Jew Street – will begin at the beginning of September, with the remaining phases to modify the Branwells Mill gyratory system and reduce traffic on Western Promenade Road, and extend the 20mph zone, being introduced later in the scheme to minimise disruption.
Details of the scheme will be published on this website as soon as they are available.
As this is a trial scheme introduced under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), members of the public are encouraged to give their views as the scheme progresses so changes can be made if any parts are not working as expected. All comments made during the 12 months trial period will be taken into account before a decision is made on a permanent scheme.
For further information or to give your views please complete the contact form below.
Cornwall Council has been working with local organisations, including Penzance Place Shaping Partnership, Penzance Council, Penzance BID, and Sustainable Penzance to develop a trial scheme to reduce through traffic in the town centre and increase opportunities for walking and cycling in and around the town. This is part of Penzance’s commitment to revitalise its economy, promote sustainable transport and tackle climate change.
In the short term the scheme will also support the town’s Covid Recovery programme by reducing traffic in key parts of the town, helping members of the public navigate the narrow streets whilst maintaining safe social distancing.
The measures being proposed include:
- reducing through traffic from Penzance town centre;
- pedestrianising Market Jew Street;
- modifying the Branwells Mill gyratory system,
- reducing traffic on Western Promenade Road; and
- extending the 20mph speed restriction within Penzance town centre
The trial is being led by Cornwall Council and, if agreed, will be carried out under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) process, with the measures remaining in place for 12 months.
The use of the experimental order also means that any parts of the scheme which are not working can be modified at any time without having to wait for the end of the trial.
Last year Penzance became one of the first councils in the country to declare a Climate Emergency, with members unanimously supporting plans to create a car free town centre, improved cycle and pedestrian access and reduce emissions.
Since then there have been growing calls from local residents to reduce traffic dominance to support the health, well-being and vitality of the town, with widespread public support for proposals to pedestrianise areas such as Market Jew Street and the Promenade received during last year’s Penzance Expo and Neighbourhood Plan consultation.
With research showing that 41% of local residents currently travel less than 5km to the town centre, many of these journeys could be made on foot or by bicycle, e-bike or public transport.
Post Covid consultation carried out by Cornwall Council has also found strong support for the pedestrianisation of high streets to support social distancing and a sustainable recovery, with 70% of people reporting they have enjoyed cleaner air outdoors.
Seven in 10 residents said they would be willing to continue home working and / or reduced travel after the pandemic is over to benefit the environment, with less pollution, a reduction in traffic and greater use of walking, cycling and public transport among the top three priorities for future changes.
Work on developing detailed proposals to reduce traffic in the town centre has been taking place during the past few months, with a trial scheme originally due to be introduced in September. However the impact of Covid 19 and the need to maximise public safety in the light of the re-opening of businesses, has led to the scheme being brought forward to August.
While the amount of traffic has been increasing since the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, road traffic levels are currently at about 70% of typical July traffic levels. This provides sufficient headroom to introduce the trial in summer with the benefits it will bring to trading and economic activity. It is also apparent that more people are currently walking and cycling.
A range of measures to support safe social distancing have already been introduced in parts of the town centre. These include the temporary closure of Chapel Street on Thursday to Sunday evenings to provide more outdoor space for café, bars, pubs and restaurants.
The Government’s new pavement legislation is likely to see more businesses in the town centre seek to use the space outside their premises for seating and outdoor stalls during the next few weeks. Reducing through traffic in Market Jew street and other narrow streets will help improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists forced to use the main routes in the town centre.
We will, however, be monitoring traffic patterns throughout the trial and we can respond to issues that may arise.
This crisis has provided the opportunity to accelerate the trial, transform the town centre and make sure Penzance is a thriving place for the future.
The use of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, introduced as part of the Government’s emergency Covid legislation, means there is no pre consultation process before a scheme is put in place.
However all comments made during the trial are treated as part of a “live consultation” and will be taken in account before any decision is made on a permanent scheme.
The scheme will be closely monitored throughout the trial to assess how it is working.
As this is an experimental order any parts of the scheme which are not working as expected can be modified at any time without having to wait for the end of the trial.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce the level of through traffic in the town centre during the main part of the day to improve the environment and safety of pedestrians and cyclists living, working and visiting Penzance.
Signage will be used to encourage people who don’t need to drive through the town centre to use the A30 rather than drive through the narrow streets. Access will be maintained for emergency vehicles, buses and taxis, as well as for people who live and work in the town centre.
The costs of developing and implementing the first phase of the trial will be met by Cornwall Council.
Funding for further phases, including extending the 20mph speed restriction within Penzance town centre, and developing proposals for an electric hoppa bus and Tuk Tuk service, a new park and ride and a park and bike system and a dedicated Shop Mobility scheme, together with segregated cycle lanes and bike hubs, will be provided either by the Government or from Penzance’s Town Deal programme.
We recognise the importance of ensuring the town centre is accessible to everyone and will be working with representatives of a wide range of disability rights groups to develop a disabled access strategy to ensure that the scheme meets their needs.
While the proposals will mean blue badge holders will no longer be able to park in the 8 limited waiting spaces on Market Jew Street, additional blue badge spaces will be provided in the Harbour and the Greenmarket car parks with appropriate linkages to the main shopping streets.
The current 5 disabled parking spaces on Princes Street and 4 spaces on Chapel Street will also remain, together with the 45 blue badge spaces in Cornwall Council car parks in the town, including 33 in the Harbour / Wharfside car park.
We are also investigating the possibility of using some of the Town Deal funding to re-introduce a Shop Mobility scheme in the town.
The signage and traffic regulation orders proposed should make the access restrictions reasonably self-enforcing. The layout of the road and the markings will also positively reinforce and enable traffic management. However, Cornwall Council will be monitoring traffic at the restrictions to ensure that the restrictions are being adhered to.
Waiting and loading restrictions on Market Jew Street that will be restricted during the time periods for the pedestrianisation will be enforced by the existing Cornwall Council civil enforcement officers as part of their duties within the town.
Already recognised as the first place in the country to receive plastic free status, implementing this scheme will enable Penzance to build on its green credentials by developing measures to increase opportunities for walking and cycling, reduce traffic in the town centre and improve public transport.
Reducing through traffic will help ensure the safety of the people who live, work, and visit Penzance at the same time as supporting the development of an attractive “café style culture” which will help attract more shoppers to the town centre.
With the pedestrianisation of town centres seen as a key factor in regenerating local economies at the same time as tackling climate change and ensuring a sustainable future, Penzance can lead the way in becoming a thriving town for the future.
Next steps in developing Healthy Streets PZ
11 August 2020
Penzance is developing plans to make the town more pedestrian friendly as part of a bold new vision to tackle the climate emergency, attract new investment and businesses, and boost the local economy.
The first stage of a wider ambition to make Penzance a thriving place for the future, Healthy Streets PZ aims to reduce through traffic and encourage more people to leave the car at home by creating pedestrianised areas in the town centre, developing new accessible routes, promoting walking and cycling and providing other more sustainable forms of transport.
Developed by Cornwall Council in partnership with Penzance Council, Penzance BID and Sustainable Penzance, the trial scheme will be delivered in three main phases over the next 12 months.
As the scheme is being implemented under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) process, any parts which are not working as expected can be modified at any time during the trial. Members of the public can give their views throughout the trial period, with all comments taken into account before a decision is made on a permanent scheme.
Following some concerns from the local business community over the impact of introducing the new measures during the peak summer season, work on the first phase – to pedestrianise Market Jew Street – will now begin in the first week of September. The remaining phases to modify the Branwells Mill gyratory system and reduce traffic on Western Promenade Road, and extend the 20mph zone, will be introduced later in the scheme to minimise disruption.
Changes have also been made to the proposed timing of the introduction of the traffic restrictions in Market Jew Street. As a result they are now due to come into operation at 11am rather than at 10 am. As well as providing more flexibility for deliveries in the town centre, this later start time will provide more time for blue badge holders to access the town centre to do their shopping or carry out other essential business.
“Although this is a trial scheme we wanted to make sure that we listened to the concerns of local stakeholders while preparing the initial draft proposals “ said Councillor Nicole Broadhurst, the Mayor of Penzance.
Details of the proposals are still being developed, with officers from Cornwall Council’s transport department due to meet with representatives of local disability groups before a final scheme is agreed.
“ We know that local people are very keen to see details of the scheme“ said Penzance BID Manager Jessica Morris. “I share their eagerness but we need to make sure that it meets the needs of people with mobility issues and those living in rural areas, as well as local businesses. This means giving these groups the opportunity to discuss the proposals and help shape the final scheme. “
Once the scheme has been finalised, full details and plans will be published on the Healthy Streets PZ section on the Love Penzance website: This is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
The website will then be kept updated with all the latest information about the scheme. There will also be a contact form for members of the public to ask questions and provide feedback on the scheme.
“Healthy Streets PZ is an exciting first step in a longer journey to regenerate our local economy at the same time as tackling climate crisis and ensuring a sustainable future for the town “ said Rachel Yates, from Sustainable Penzance. “We have seen growing calls from local residents to reduce traffic dominance to support the health, well-being and vitality of Penzance, with widespread public support for proposals to pedestrianise areas such as Market Jew Street and the Promenade received during last year’s Penzance Expo and Neighbourhood Plan consultation.
“By using pedestrianisation measures to support social distancing and a sustainable recovery, this trial will not only help us manage the immediate challenges presented by Covid 19, it will also help us start to deal with the wider challenges of creating a truly accessible town for all and reducing carbon emissions and air pollution in response to the climate emergency” .
Cornwall Council is promoting green and active travel under its climate change action plan to help Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030.
Cornwall’s portfolio holder for transport Councillor Geoff Brown said: “Not only will this innovative trial scheme provide residents with more opportunities for green travel and encourage them to enjoy outdoor environment, it will also help revitalise the town centre.
“This is a great example of how Cornwall Council is supporting and facilitating community schemes to reduce carbon emissions and how we can join forces to help tackle the climate emergency together and improve the environment for everyone.
If you have any questions about Transport Trial Penzance, please contact us using our form.