Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fake Camera Axed; Council Slams the Brakes on Dummy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fake Camera Axed; Council Slams the Brakes on Dummy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Dave Black

A FAKE speed camera put up in a Northumberland village was facing the chop last night - despite claims it is having the desired effect of slowing down traffic and improving safety.

The 'dummy' camera suddenly appeared last weekend in Powburn, where locals have been campaigning for years for action to tackle problems on the busy A697.

The yellow box, which looks like a genuine camera to approaching motorists, has been the talk of the village - with locals claiming it is already acting as a deterrent and making drivers put the brakes on.

But last night it became clear that its days are numbered after the county council branded it an 'illegal sign' and said it will be removed.

The campaign for speed cameras in Powburn intensified three years ago after a lorry crashed into a house in the village while trying to negotiate a bend in the A697, the second such incident in seven years. Safety officials have rejected the calls, claiming the village accident record and traffic speeds don't justify the installation of a camera.

Yesterday, Dave Deacon, who lives in Powburn and is a partner in construction company Impact Builders, said: "I have been working on a house right opposite where this fake camera went up at the weekend and it is obviously working. People have had a laugh about it but it has definitely had an impact.

"You can hear drivers changing gear and slowing down when they see it, and it just goes to show what can be done even without the help of the highways department. It has always been a bugbear here that we don't have a speed camera, even with HGVs hitting houses, and the general feeling is that we've been neglected.

"No doubt it will be taken down, but it probably only cost pounds 5 to put together and has certainly shown that a real camera would have an effect."

Richard Poppleton, clerk to Hedgely Parish Council, said: "I would guess that local people would not be too unhappy about this fake camera being put up. …

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