Cornwall is one of the first rural areas to cut speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas to make roads safer for everyone.  

At the most recent Cabinet meeting, members approved the Cornwall wide roll out that will see the new 20mph limit introduced in phases in urban and residential areas, after hearing how successful pilot schemes to reduce the speed limit, supported by local communities, in Falmouth, Penryn, and Camelford, saw speeds come down.  

Reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph has been shown to make streets safer and reduce casualties, increase activity levels, as lower speeds encourage more people to walk, scoot, or cycle, support tackling climate change through lower emissions and less congestion and create a stronger sense of place, by creating accessible, liveable streets for all. 

New signs and an extensive education and awareness campaign on why 20mph is plenty, will underpin the rollout. 

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport Connor Donnithorne said: “Limiting speeds to 20mph where people walk, live and play means that our communities benefit from streets that are safer, healthy, green, and liveable. 

“Although the police can and will enforce the new speed limits, road safety is something we all have responsibility for so whether you live in a 20mph zone or travel through one, please respect our communities by sticking to the speed limit so we can all play a part in helping each other to live well.” 

“We want to encourage people to travel in ways that are safe, sustainable, and healthy. In many places, inappropriate speed limits make movement dangerous where people live, work, and play - particularly for vulnerable road users such as children and elderly people.      “Residents in the pilot areas told us that this is an important issue for our communities who want to see lower speeds on residential roads. We know that lower speeds mean fewer serious accidents, but it can also contribute to improving air quality and combating climate change.”   

Alison Hernandez – Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly & Chair of the Vision Zero South West Partnership said: “Road safety is one of four main priorities in my Police and Crime Plan because it is a major concern for many residents and every community I visit raises it as an issue.  

“As chair of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership I have seen all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to make our roads safer and prevent tragic deaths and serious injuries.  

“I strongly support local communities where a majority of the residents wish to introduce 20mph speed limits, as this is about their quality of life as well as their own safety.  

“I believe this will have a substantial impact in lowering the number of collisions on our roads by encouraging more drivers to be aware of the dangers of speed where they live. 

“We have collectively worked hard to ensure that Devon & Cornwall Police will be providing enforcement on these 20mph roads when they come into effect, but I would also like to work with our communities to monitor these routes. The police cannot be everywhere, but through schemes like Community Speed Watch, residents can help be the eyes and ears of communities on the ground and help us identify any potential issues.”  

For some roads, it may be appropriate to retain a 30mph speed limit or deliver a more focused 20mph section, and those decisions will be made on local circumstances. 

 The roll out will be carried out in phases:  

 Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Illogan; West Penwith; Truro and The Roseland later this year. 

 Hayle and St Ives; St Austell and Mevagissey; Newquay and St Columb; Cornwall Gateway (Saltash and Torpoint area); Liskeard and Looe; China Clay area will follow in 2024, with Helston and South Kerrier; Bude and Launceston in 2025. 

 The final phase of the rollout will happen in 2026 in Wadebridge and Padstow; Bodmin; Caradon (Callington and Calstock area); St Blazey, Fowey and Lostwithiel; St Agnes and Perranporth.