Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Campaign Wins Camera Rule Change

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Campaign Wins Camera Rule Change

Article excerpt

Byline: By Neil Gibson

The future of seven speed cameras in Northumbria is to be reviewed after a dramatic policy shift triggered by The Journal's Safety First series.

Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership had previously refused to consider removing fixed cameras under any circumstances.

But when The Journal's Safety First series highlighted a lack of any formal procedure to remove a camera no longer considered effective the partnership acted.

Last night it introduced its first written set of rules for fixed-camera removal, understood to be the first in the country.

And it has agreed to examine the merits of seven camera sites where there has been one collision or none in the past three years.

The seven are at Bedlington, near Ashington; Haltwhistle in Tynedale; Rowlands Gill, near Gateshead; Princess Way, Prudhoe; Felton, near Morpeth; Acomb Road Ends, near Hexham; and Longhorsley, near Morpeth.

Partnership spokesperson Sarah Cossom said: "There is no question of us removing any cameras where the local communities still want them.

"However, these are cameras ( some of which have been installed a long time ( where the collision rates have fallen to next to nothing in the last three years.

"We will work with the local authority, road engineering and safety experts to get a consultation exercise up and running with local people on these cameras and see what their future is.

"If council and community agree that the camera has served its purpose, only then will removal be an option."

In its new formal rules the partnership has agreed that:

* It will remove fixed speed cameras if there have been significant engineering or other measures to reduce traffic speed or the hazard to road users and there have been no collisions in three years.

* If a camera has reduced casualties to nil but no engineering or other measures have been introduced, suggesting the original problem of excessive speed would not return if it was removed, the camera will remain as a deterrent but its "live" time will be reduced. …

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