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Speed cameras on A149 Prince Philip crash road were delayed by council - against wishes of Norfolk's police chief

PUBLISHED: 09:23 19 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 19 January 2019

Media gather at the roadside of the A149 at Babingley where the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip,  had an accident. Photo: Emily Prince

Media gather at the roadside of the A149 at Babingley where the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, had an accident. Photo: Emily Prince

Archant

The installation of speed cameras on the road where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a crash was put on hold - against the wishes of Norfolk’s chief constable - because county councillors raised concerns.

Norfolk’s Safety Camera Partnership Board, made up of the police, Norfolk County Council, and the office of Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, agreed to fund and put speed cameras on the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham in 2016.

But local county councillors Stuart Dark, a former Met Police officer, Andrew Jamieson and Michael Chenery were upset the first they knew about the scheme was when they read about it in the Eastern Daily Press.

They wanted more consultation with their communities and the chance to explore alternatives, so a decision was made by the county council to suspend the scheme.

The installation of the cameras - and a speed limit reduction on the approach to the B1439 junction at Babingley, where Prince Philip’s crash happened on Thursday - was only agreed by county councillors on Friday.

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. PIC: Neil PerryNorfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. PIC: Neil Perry

Mr Dark, Mr Jamieson and Mr Chenery had tabled questions including seeking reassurances the cameras would not be a “cash cow” and that there should be a better process for involving councillors.

But, when Norfolk police were asked about whether the cameras could have been installed sooner, they issued a statement which revealed how the constabulary had clashed with the council over the delays.

The police statement said: “We have continuously been in support of road safety improvements on the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham.

“In 2016, the decision to fund and proceed with the scheme was agreed by the Safety Camera Partnership Board, which is a multi-agency partnership of the police, Norfolk County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“As with all such schemes there is an appropriate process to follow which can be lengthy, however at every stage we have expressed a strong desire to proceed with the implementation of average speed cameras in a bid to improve road safety.

“Following concerns raised by councillors, a decision was made by the county council to suspend the scheme.

“This decision was not agreed to by the police and was against the expressed wishes of the chief constable, clearly outlined in a letter to the county council in September 2018.”

In that letter of September 2018, Mr Bailey asked how the views of the local councillors had been allowed to overturn a previous decision which was based on evidence and analysis.

The force said: “While it is regrettable there has been a delay, we fully welcome today’s decision by the environment, development and transport committee to approve the scheme.”

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