Harbour commissioners have drawn up plans for a Padstow Harbour speed limit, which would split the Camel Estuary into five distinct zones

The Camel Estuary is set to have its speed limit reduced for the first time in more than 20 years under new proposals announced by Padstow Harbour Commissioners (PHC).

RIB owners and waterskiers are likely to be affected by the new system, which would split the estuary into five zones (shown above).

The current Padstow Harbour speed limit is 40 knots in the middle of the channel, but PHC wants to reduce this to eight knots in the area immediately outside the town.

Vessels heading out to sea would then be allowed to increase their speed to 20 knots, 30 knots near Daymer Bay, and finally 40 knots as they pass Padstow Bay.

Padstow harbourmaster Rob Atkinson told MBY that the lengthy process of creating a new bylaw has begun.

“We’ve made a decision as commissioners and now we’re at the stage where we’ve contacted the Department for Transport.”

“The 40-knot speed limit, which was set up in 1991, is no longer appropriate. It’s come to a stage where people aren’t able to assess safe speed for themselves,” he said.

“But we don’t want to be seen as the fun police, we want to help people go out on the water safely.”

Mr Atkinson added that the bylaw process will include a public consultation stage.

As for enforcing the new Padstow Harbour speed limit, he claims that in 99% of cases education is more important than prosecution.

“We have an enforcement policy on our website, but we see educating people as more important. A lot of the people speeding through moorings are unaware of the speed limits.”

However, powerboat skipper Dave Lockwood, who runs day trips on board Sea Fury, has voiced his opposition to the proposed Padstow Harbour speed limit.

“Sometimes you have to go quite a bit faster than eight knots just to get out of the harbour,” he told the Cornish Guardian.

“We have only a short period of time during the year in which to earn our money and the implications of these changes could be very severe indeed.”

  • Toffer99

    Just 5 zones? Why not make it even more complicated?