Suffolk’s fixed speed cameras to be switched back on
PUBLISHED: 07:04 21 July 2011
SPEED cameras in Suffolk will be reinstalled – just weeks after it was decided they were too expensive to run.
It is understood the road safety devices will be turned back on over the next week as a review into their effectiveness gets under way.
It is believed funding is in place to operate the cameras until September, when a long-term plan will be developed to keep them running.
Suffolk Police Authority will meet tomorrow(Friday) to discuss the issue and members are expected to be encouraged to formally take responsibility for the cameras from Suffolk County Council.
More than £1m of funding for the speed cameras – some on key accident black-spots on the A14, A140 and A12 – was pulled by Endeavour House earlier this year and Suffolk police decided they were too expensive to keep running.
But Joanna Spicer, chairman of Suffolk Police Authority, said police and the county council would now hold a review about the effectiveness of existing cameras and the cost of maintaining and updating them.
Mrs Spicer, who confirmed the review would involve speaking to communities who have speed cameras near them, said: “I am very hopeful that we can sort a long-term plan to keep them in operation to keep Suffolk safer. I am absolutely convinced that they are very important.
“The reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the A140 and A12 is evidence of their value.”
One of the speed cameras is positioned at Benhall, near Saxmundham, where a fixed camera with a 50mph limit was placed leading up to a busy junction on the A12.
Marian Andrews, vice-chairman of Saxmundham Town Council, welcomed the news that speed cameras would be turned back on.
She said: “It’s a particularly dangerous junction and I’m convinced myself that a speed camera has assisted in keeping the accident rate down.
“I’d welcome its retention there, it will help save lives. There were one or two fatalities there so I’m sure it’s helped cut accidents.”
Suffolk also has fixed cameras in position at: A14 Haughley; A140 Coddenham; A1065 Brandon; A1144 Normanston Drive, Lowestoft; A1304 Hamilton Road, Newmarket; A140 Brome; and A140 Earl Stonham.
The development comes after it emerged earlier this week that deaths on Suffolk roads were on course to rise by 40 per cent compared to last year.
There have been 15 fatalities this year and if the current rate continues, that number would rise to 28.
Last year there were 20 road deaths across the county, the lowest for more than a decade.Statistics released by police reveal there were 42 deaths in 2009, 31 in 2008, 39 in 2007 and 47 in 2006.