Low Carbon Transport



The St Ives Low Carbon Transport Strategy is being funded and delivered as part of the St Ives Town Deal programme to help reduce the impact of vehicles on St Ives and introduce measures that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

The project has been allocated £5.5 million of Town Deal funding to create a Low Transport Environment (LTE) within the town centre by reducing traffic, enhancing safety, increasing accessibility, improving environmental health and delivering community and economic benefits.  This funding needs to be spent by March 2026.  Longer term measures will need to be funded from other sources.

Developed in partnership with key stakeholders, the initial draft Strategy contained several proposals aimed at reducing traffic congestion and parking demand in the town centre, enhancing public transport options and accessibility, improving air quality and health outcomes for residents and visitors and supporting local businesses by creating a more attractive and vibrant town.

You can view details of the draft Strategy here

You can view a short video about the Strategy

Town Deal Board meeting on 13 May 2024 

Members of the meeting of the Town Deal Board supported a recommendation from Cornwall Council’s Highways Authority to remove the use of automatic bollards from the plans to create a Low Traffic Environment in St Ives.

The Highway Authority’s recommendation not to use physical measures such as rising bollards and barriers to restrict access to the town centre in peak seasonal periods followed an assessment of the complex technical challenges and management arrangements of installing and operating such a system in St Ives. There were also concerns from some local residents over the potential impact of the proposal. This recommendation was previously supported by the transport working group and St Ives Town Council.

Work on implementing the Low Traffic Environment is due to take place in 2025. Regulations restricting access for people without legitimate reasons from driving into the town centre during peak periods in the summer remain a key element of the scheme. However, the decision by the Town Deal Board to remove the use of physical restrictions means that the project team will work even more closely with local residents and businesses over the next few months to identify alternative methods of achieving the desired outcome. 

As well as the use of clear and visible signage at key points, additional measures, including widening footways, enhancing crossings points, providing additional seating, and managing obstructive parking, will be used to make the town centre safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. There will also be improvements to public transport and other traffic management changes around the town. Access to those who need to enter will be maintained throughout.

Permanent traffic cameras are being installed throughout the town to provide information and robust live data on the levels and types of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists entering the town centre.  This information will be used to help the project team monitor the effectiveness and benefits of all the changes resulting from the implementation of the strategy. The data will also be used to identify where additional measures might be required in the future to help support or improve the LTE and wider traffic management.

The Board also agreed to allocate funding to support the installation of a new Variable Messaging Sign on the A30. The sign, which will be sited in advance of the St Erth roundabout, will provide up to date information on parking availability within the town and help to raise public awareness of the Park and Ride facility, with the aim of reducing the number of visitors entering the town centre in search of parking when none is available.

A recommendation from the Highways Authority to postpone implementing changes at Library Corner and Tregenna Hill, originally scheduled to take place in October 2025, until after all the other measures set out in the strategy have been introduced and the impact of these changes assessed, was also supported by the Board. 

One of the key areas of congestion in St Ives, with the current two-way traffic system on Tregenna Hill leading to regular conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians, all partners agree that resolving this highly complex situation will play a major role in improving traffic flow within the town.

The proposal currently being developed includes the introduction of a one-way system, with general traffic only permitted to drive up Tregenna Hill.  A “bus only system”, with a set of traffic lights at the top and the bottom of the hill, would be introduced to enable buses and emergency vehicles to travel against the one-way system, down the hill as required.

The Highways Authority and the project team are committed to carrying out improvements at Library Corner. However, members of the Board were told that for the proposed scheme to be both effective and safe, and prevent additional problems being created elsewhere on the local road network, they needed to ensure that all the other measures were working as expected to reduce the amount of traffic entering the area before the changes were implemented.

As it is likely this assessment can only be made once the other measures are in place, the board agreed to defer the introduction of the Library Corner / Tregenna Hill element until January 2027, with Cornwall Council ring fencing match funding of £500,000 allocated to deliver the scheme so it can be used at this time.

In the meantime, work will continue to develop the technical design of the one-way system so it is ready for construction once the performance of the other measures has been reviewed and the proposed scheme has been assessed as safe and effective.

The remaining projects in the strategy were supported by members of the St Ives Town Deal Board in February 2024, with work on projects in the first phase due to begin this Autumn (2024).

Measures being implemented in this first phase are likely to include improvements to the junctions at Malakoff, Zennor, Halsetown, and the Station car park. These focus on enhancing bus and train user experience, improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and achieving greater speed compliance. 

Following concerns about the re-direction of more holiday and day visitor traffic into St Ives along the old coach road as a result of the wider signage being implemented, further work will be carried out to assess what measures can be introduced to mitigate the effect. These are likely to include speed reduction signs and other measures to improve overall safety and aim to compliment Cornwall Council’s ‘20’s plenty’ roll out.

Changes to the Terrace and Stennack junctions and adaptions to car parks in the town are due to begin in February 2025. Prior to any changes to key car parks, such as Barnoon and the Island, discussions will be held with existing permit users and the wider local community.

The remaining schemes include improvements to the junction at Higher Stennack (also due to take place in Autumn 2025) and changes to the Tempest roundabout and Park Avenue and Albert Road, due to be carried out in early 2026.

Discussions will be held with the local community in all these areas to provide information about the proposals and supporting mitigation measures, develop any additional measures required and to address any remaining concerns before work starts on implementing the schemes.

One of the key findings from the public consultation was the need for improvements to public transport, with calls for more reliable and frequent bus services, particularly at evening and weekends, improved signage at the bus and train stations and provide better and safer waiting areas at bus stops and improved information through the use of digital information boards.

The project team are working with bus and rail operators to identify improvements to public transport which can be delivered as part of the Town Deal project. 

Updates on the progress being made in developing and implementing the Low Carbon Transport Strategy will continue to be published on the Let’s Talk Cornwall site (https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/st-ives-town-deal-low-carbon-transport ) and the St Ives Town Deal website site ( https://www.stivestowndeal.org.uk/  and social media channels, and shared with the local media.

Members of the public can also sign up to the St Ives Town Deal newsletter via the Town Deal website.

Plans are being made to hold a public exhibition at the town’s library during the summer to provide the latest details about all the projects and the timetable for delivering the different elements.

Discussions will also continue with stakeholders, community groups and individuals to provide information and discuss concerns as required.

About the Low Carbon Transport project

The Low Carbon Transport project is one of the nine regeneration projects being funded and delivered as part of the £19.9 million St Ives Town Deal programme to help revitalise the town and bring opportunities for those who live, work, visit, and enjoy St Ives.

The resident population of around 11,000 in St Ives increases dramatically during the summer months when more than 500,000 day visitors and 220,000 staying tourists visit the town. Currently many opt to travel into the town by car, leading to significant congestion in the narrow streets around the town centre and harbour area. 

With a combination of inadequate signage and mid guided Sat Nav directions, unsafe streets caused by poor or non-existent footpaths and buses, HGV and other vehicles mounting pavements, ad hoc parking causing bottle necks, insufficient parking for residents and a lack of facilities for walking and cycling resulting in conflict and confusion within the town centre and it is clear that action needs to be taken to improve the transport infrastructure in the town.

Allocated £5.5 million of Town Deal funding, the aim of the transport project is to create a Low-Traffic Environment (LTE) in the historic core of St Ives by:

  • Reducing traffic – minimising the number of cars in the town centre will decrease congestion, enhance the overall atmosphere and aesthetic of the historic area.
  • Enhancing safety – prioritising pedestrian and cyclist safety by reducing the number of vehicles will lower the risk of accidents and create a more user-friendly environment for non-motorised road users.
  • Increasing accessibility: providing better public transport options and infrastructure will ensure that residents and visitors can easily access and navigate the area without relying on private vehicles.
  • Improving environmental health: reducing air pollution by decreasing the amount of standing and moving traffic will lead to a cleaner, healthier environment for residents and preserve the area’s historic integrity.
  • Delivering community and economic benefits: providing safer, more accessible, and pedestrian-friendly spaces will help to foster a stronger sense of community and support local businesses and tourism by -increasing dwelling time.

The draft Strategy focuses on the following key areas:

Wider strategy – aimed at reducing congestion and promoting eco-friendly transport options, the proposals include providing park and ride services outside of the town or attraction to encourage visitors and commuters to continue their journey by bus, rail, or other modes of active travel such as walking or cycling. With St Erth park and ride now at full capacity, this includes developing additional park and ride facilities at Halsetown and Splattenridden, improving navigation and signage at the Lelant Road junction to reroute traffic, enhancing parking signs and signals to direct drivers to car parks and public transport options and improving rail, bus, cycle and walling networks and gateways.

Town wide strategy – the historic town centre was not designed to accommodate the current volume of people or traffic. This currently leads to significant congestion, particularly in the peak summer months or when deliveries are loaded or unloaded. Proposals are aimed at reducing the amount of traffic going into the town centre to park by improving signage to direct people to the right locations and car parks, as well as providing more cost effective parking for long stay visitors in car parks on the edge of the town. Other proposals include providing non motorised transport options, such as bike, e-bike and shuttle bus links, adjusting bus routes, and improving walking routes and footpaths.

Town Centre and Low Traffic Environment strategy – the proposed changes in the town centre aim to reduce traffic congestion and enhance public spaces. The plan includes removing ‘honey pot’ island parking, and converting it to permit-only to reduce traffic and redefining vehicular routes to alleviate congestion, especially around Library Corner where a one-way traffic system will be introduced around the Corner and up Tregenna Hill to streamline traffic flow, facilitate better movement, and allow for the expansion of footways, thereby improving the overall pedestrian experience in the area. 

Short stay car parks in the town centre will be subject to shorter, more expensive tariffs, with some on street parking for short stay, disabled visitors, residents, and loading and unloading (with the use of permits and charging where required).

The team are also looking into the use of alternative methods to discourage people without legitimate reasons from driving into the town centre during certain periods.

Some specific changes have been identified for the Higher Stennack, the Terrace and the Malakoff areas. These include removing mini roundabouts and reconfiguring junctions, updating and providing new pedestrian crossings and bus shelters; reducing the size of the carriageway and expanding footway areas, providing new facilities for secure cycling parking and bike hire, reallocating road space to prioritize non motorised users, improving signage and redirecting traffic away from the town centre and beachfront.