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Traffic in St Teath

The Parish Plan identified traffic and parking as perpetual problems throughout the Parish and HGVs were not far behind. The village is on the B3267 and characterised by relatively narrow streets with no pavements for the most part. There is a 30 mph speed limit throughout, which is not well observed, especially along North Road near the school (see below).

The Square
Fore Street

Vehicles passing through the Square, St Teath

To get an idea of the volume of traffic in the village we counted the number of vehicles passing through The Square on Tuesday, 22 September 2009. This was a normal weekday with overcast weather. Holiday traffic was unlikely to be very significant. The chart below shows the results.

Vehicle numbers through The Square, 8 -9 pm, 11 am - 12 noon, 2 - 3 pm and 5 - 6 pm.

Perhaps the most striking feature is that the volume of traffic does not vary much hour by hour, in other words there is only a small increase in traffic between 8 and 9 am and 5 and 6 pm when signs of a 'rush hour' might be expected. The volume of commercial traffic, mostly vans and trucks accounting for about 20% of the total, did not vary much either.

Since working day traffic volumes do not vary much hour by hour, we can estimate that over 1500 vehicles pass through every day. This corresponds to around ½ million vehicles per year.

Congestion

The need for many residents to park in the street means that vehicles cannot pass easily in parts of Fore Street and North Road. There is a case for the provision of passing bays here, but they are unlikely to be prioritised over the extreme need at the other end of the parish, namely High Street, Delabole. Unfortunately, there is little prospect of any new convenient off-street parking in St Teath in the near future.

Damage to vehicles and property because of restricted road width has occured, notably in Fore Street and at the junction between North Road and Treroosal Road. An example of how difficult things are is illustrated by the photo above taken in Fore Street, opposite the Post Office.

Signage

This is one area where improvements can and have been made relatively easily. For example, did you notice the recent change in the signs shown below, which resulted from liaison between the Parish Council and County Highways through County Councillor Glenton Brown.

A39 approaching Knightsmill 2008
A39 approaching Knightsmill 2009

Or this?

West Downs corner 2008
West Downs corner 2009

There is some anecdotal evidence that satnav devices show the route from the A39 westbound to Port Isaac as being via St Teath. However, a check on the AA route planner suggested that one should turn right off the A39 at Trehannick and take the road to Treburgett and Pendoggett - a route where roads are even narrower than through St Teath. The popular TomTom satnav has a website that recommends turning off the A39 earlier to Slaughter Bridge and travelling via Delabole - a better idea altogether.

Traffic speed

The SpeedVISOR sign

Narrow streets in the village generally force vehicles to keep to the limit of 30 mph, but concern has been raised about the speed of vehicles entering the village along North Road past the school. A radar-based speed warning sign called SpeedVISOR has occasionally been placed about 200 yards from the school. Warning passing motorists if they are exceeding 30 mph, it also collects data on passing vehicle speeds.

In summary, the data showed that during May and early June of 2009, just 21% of vehicles passed at 30 mph or less and that the mean speed was 33.3 mph. When the warning display was switched off but monitoring still continued, the mean speed was 35.2 mph. Speeds dropped by a few mph between 8 and 9 am and 3 and 4 pm when children were arriving and departing from school.

The number of of vehicles passing was 600-700 southbound per weekday. This figure is in line with our estimate above of over 1500 per day through the Square, which of course included northbound traffic and traffic from/to side roads.

The 30 mph zone extends north from the sign position for ¼ mile past the Children's Centre and Playing fields to Trewennan. It is on this stretch that even higher speeds are commonplace as shown by school children, who with assistance from the police, measured speeds with a handheld device.

Comment

Unfortunately, St Teath lies on the quickest route between Delabole and beyond to points west, including Wadebridge, and it is only natural that travellers should choose this over the longer designated route via St Endellion on the B3314 to Wadebridge. Much through traffic probably arises because of this. Both TomTom and the AA indicate the St Teath route.


Thanks to Lee Bacchus, St Teath headteacher, for a copy of the SpeedVISOR report

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