Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Speed Cameras in Wrong Place'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Speed Cameras in Wrong Place'

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Luke Reporters adam.luke@trinitymirror.com

MOBILE speed cameras are being deployed in low-accident areas at the expense of other blackspots, a councillor claims.

Coun Glen Sanderson said residents see cameras as being used for "fund-raising" in some areas, while the sites of fatal crashes go unmonitored.

But Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment on Northumberland County Council, said the authority was trying to "get a grip" on its use of Northumbria Safer Roads Initiative (NSRI) camera vans so they are deployed where they will have the biggest impact.

Data released by the council in response to questioning by Coun Sanderson, of Longhorsley, revealed 17 locations in the county visited by the vans between January 1 and July 31 this year.

Figures show the site most targeted was Dudley Lane in Cramlington, followed by Lamb Street in Cramlington, Shields Road in Hartford Bridge, The Wynd in Amble, Barrington Road in Bedlington and Belsay. In total, there were 188 separate visits across the 17 sites, resulting in 5,377 speeding offences being recorded.

However, Coun Sanderson claimed other sites in the county need the cameras more - such as Barmoor Bank on the A192 which has seen several crashes over the last five years including one fatality in April 2011, when a female passenger died as the car she travelled in overturned and left the road.

He explained: "Speed monitoring at Barmoor Bank found that the 40mph speed limit was repeatedly being broken.

"Why is a site like that, where there is a proven record of speeding, not being visited by the camera while the site on Pottery Bank, Morpeth, is continually monitored much to the annoyance of residents who feel penalties are for fund-raising."

Speed camera locations are chosen if they are identified as "collision hotspots" with a history of high speed contributing to crashes, or if there have been a lot of complaints by neighbours. …

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