From Devon & Cornwall Police:
New portable electronic road ‘matrix signs’ capable of displaying warning signs for drivers, are being deployed on the Bodmin Moor stretch of the A30 between Jamaica Inn and Helland.
Funded by National Highways and delivered through a partnership established by Devon & Cornwall Police with National Highways and Bodmin Moor Commons Council, in response to increasing numbers of livestock accessing the A30 on Bodmin Moor, the four new portable vehicle mobile matrix signs will light up and display messages to warn and inform road users on Cornwall’s busiest route.
The new emergency signs can be turned on remotely by National Highways staff in the 24/7 control room in response to incidents such as emergency road conditions, road hazards and livestock on the road.
According to the Department for Transport, hundreds of people are injured every year in the UK, in collisions involving animals on the road. Dave Langley, Road Casualty Reduction Officer for Devon & Cornwall Police said: “On the short Bodmin Moor section of the A30 during 2022 there were 222 incidents recorded where livestock had strayed onto the highway. Since the formation of our working group partnership this number has been significantly reduced.”
Chris Collins, Rural Affairs Police Officer for Devon & Cornwall Police explained: “Like any rural area we have our own unique challenges to consider with regards to rural road safety. A 12 miles section of the A30 runs through the heart of Bodmin Moor encompassing vast areas of agriculture and common grazing land home to wildlife and livestock including cattle, sheep and ponies. Naturally animals move across the land to graze and may access the road where fencing has been damaged or access points left insecure.
“Working in partnership National Highways, we reviewed and improved areas of the Moor’s common land fencing and it has enabled Cornwall to access four new matrix signs, which will be used on Bodmin Moor’s stretch of the A30 permanently.”
Julie Dowton, The Bodmin Moor Commons Council Livestock Welfare Officer added: “Bodmin Moor landowners and commoners work closely with partners including Devon & Cornwall Police and National Highways to protect livestock habitat, a significant proportion of which neighbours the A30 dual carriageway.
“Unfortunately, livestock for a number of reasons can find their way onto the A30. Living on the moor we know how weather conditions can change quickly and dramatically and all too often can catch drivers out. The ability to warn people of hazards whether that be livestock, weather or anything else is important and we have no doubt the new Matrix Warning signs will make the Bodmin Moor stretch of the A30 much safer for all.”
National Highways Service Delivery Manager, Emma Bazeley, said: “We welcome working with Devon & Cornwall Police to enhance warning signs on this part of the strategic road network. We encourage people to take extra care to respond to the messages on the signs when they are informing them or warning them of hazards on the A30.”