Traffic is to be banned from rural roads around Truro that are used by drivers as shortcuts as part of a trial lasting six months.
Residents, commuters, walkers and cyclists are now being asked for their views on plans to restrict traffic on the network of narrow rural roads between Shortlanesend and Threemilestone.
Cornwall Council is planning to introduce the ‘Quiet Lanes’ trial in mid-August with the aim of making a 15km network of roads safer for people wanting to walk and cycle in the area.
During the trial, through traffic will be banned from using the roads as a short cut into Truro and the A390.
Around 200 vehicles use the lanes during peak hours, according to recent traffic monitoring.
While local residents will be asked for their views on the plans, the council also wants to hear from other road users – drivers, cyclists and walkers – before the trial begins and has produced a short survey which can be found on its Let’s Talk Cornwall pages https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/truro-quiet-lanes
People have until August 6 to complete it.
Further surveys will be carried out during the trial and this feedback, as well as the results of traffic monitoring, will help determine whether the trial will become permanent, amended or scrapped.
The council will apply an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order to the Quiet Lanes with legally enforceable prohibition signs put up at 11 entry points.
Only residents and their visitors, as well as companies delivering to properties within the zone, will be allowed to use the lanes during the trial which will run for an initial period of six months.
The scheme does not include any road closures or physical obstructions and the restrictions will not apply to the emergency services responding to a call.
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “Research shows that around a third of journeys made by car are of less than 5km. We want to encourage people to leave their cars at home where possible and look to more sustainable ways of travelling short distances – it not only benefits the environment, but our health too.
“The last 18 months has seen an increase in the numbers of people walking and cycling, discovering areas of their local communities that they may not have visited before. We want create safe spaces for this to continue and the Quiet Lanes trial is a prime example of this.
“However we appreciate that any changes to our roads will have an impact and so want to hear views from people who currently use the routes, or plan to use them when the trial is introduced.”
David Harris, Cornwall Council member for Gloweth, Malabar and Shortlanesend, said: “These roads were not built for the amount of traffic that is now seeking to use them, nor for the size of vehicles. This trial, which aims to keep vehicles on more appropriate roads, is to be welcomed.
“While some people may be inconvenienced by this trial, others equally may welcome it, which is why it is so important the people complete these surveys so that we can get a real feel of the pros and cons of this experiment.”
Dulcie Tudor, Cornwall Council member for Threemilestone & Chacewater said: “I’ve heard from people who feel strongly that the lanes should be closed to traffic and from people who feel just as strongly they should stay open.
“After speaking to people living in the Quiet Lanes area, I have my own view which presently errs on the side of making the lanes safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
“But I want to wait and see what the trial throws up. That’s why it’s important this trail goes ahead and is carefully monitored and assessed to determine the true impact of traffic prohibition.
“I urge as many people as possible feed their comments into the Let’s Talk Survey so early next year so the Council can make an informed decision as to whether to make the prohibition permanent or scrap the whole idea.”