Cornwall Council will this week introduce a new driving and parking permit system for motor vehicles not registered in Cornwall, with checks and tests taking place at the Tamar bridge for the new Kerpapa! programme.
Kerpapa stands for Kernow Parking and Piloting Authorisation, and addresses the longstanding problem of incoming vehicles not understanding how to use Cornwall's roads. Travellers in Cornwall know only too well the delays and dangers created by improper parking and drivers who refuse to reverse when vehicles meet on country roads too narrow for two vehicles to pass. Drivers entering Cornwall will now have to demonstrate competence and will be required to install the Kerpapa! app, which will monitor their driving and parking or stationary spells, triggering intervention and billing when needed. Approved vehicles will also receive Papa is Watching stickers.
A new six-figure publicity campaign from a major London PR firm will blitz the media, featuring the song Come to Papa and images of Poldark reversing his horse on country lanes, and finding hidden pasties in laybys as rewards for good behaviour. Driver and vehicle tests will take place on the border at the Tamar bridge, with drivers required to reverse across the Tamar bridge successfully to gain their permit, while vehicles which exit the bridge halfway will be deemed to have failed the test.
The mandatory Kerpapa! app for permit holders will monitor their location, mileage and status, and auto-apply penalties for remaining stationary in non-permitted areas as well as excessive speed. The app's carpark features tell users when carparks are full, and allow advance booking of spaces, and feature dynamic pricing where prices can vary and even triple for visitors at busy times. If turned off or uninstalled, the app triggers the autoclamp function. A later iteration of the app is expected to feature the Takeaway function, where alerts trigger responses from drones which lift obstructing vehicles into appropriate fields and autoconnect to muckspreading providers, and should be introduced from the start of April 2022.
Kerpapa! driving and parking permit prices are calculated on the basis of vehicle square footage, tonnage, and CO2 emissions per mile, with weekly, monthly and annual payment plans available, and mileage charges billed at corresponding intervals. The substantial revenue stream generated by Kerpapa! will be used by Cornwall Council to address Cornwall's pressing housing crisis, as even rentals climb out of reach of local residents. While promising to build council houses, cap rents, and compulsorily purchase properties not inhabited 80% of the year, all at an unspecified future date, Cornwall Council state that the freed up spaces in carparks will be used to house local residents in tents at low rates. Participants in the G7 conference were of course exempt from Kerpapa! as they closed roads for their own exclusive use anyway.
A wide variety of voices welcomed the new Kerpapa! programme, and a spokesperson for the Yes Kernow campaign said "Yes!". The Conservative Party, who recently took full control of Cornwall Council with a full 17% of the votes of the electorate, said "We recognise the need to regulate driving and parking in Cornwall because of problems caused by the EU, but the scheme needs to evolve to give greater rights to the wealthy, for example using smart roads to give priority at junctions and in parking to those who demonstrate higher income levels and operate more expensive vehicles".
Liberal Democrats commented, "Going backwards is an important skill. Cornwall voted Leave and so visitors should not leave their senses at the Cornwall border but leave their vehicles instead". A Labour party spokesperson approached for comment said, "We'd love to get back to you to comment on this once we have formulated some policies", while the Green Party said "We welcome this tiny half-step in the right direction towards a Tourist Tax, but choosing a gendered and paternalistic name for this app is just not inclusive enough, and organic muckspreading should be specified". Mebyon Kernow, the Party for Cornwall, said "It's time to meet the needs of Cornwall's residents, and not keep overstating the importance of tourism in Cornwall's economy. Meur ras."