By Chris Harris
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
DATA critical in a decision to turn off a speed camera at a Suffolk accident blackspot was flawed, it has been claimed.
Redlingfield Parish Council said figures for the A140 at Brome are wrong.
Parish clerk Janet Norman-Philip claimed there have been up to nine death or serious injury crashes near the camera site since 2000.
But a confidential report – seen by the EADT – that went before Suffolk Police Authority (SPA) last year said there had been just one slight injury crash.
The paper, prepared by Suffolk police, played a key role in Suffolk Road Safety Partnership’s decision to keep two cameras at Benhall (A12) and Coddenham (A140) and turn off four others, including the one at Brome.
“It feels very underhand and the secrecy has made it 10 times worse,” said Ms Norman-Philip.
The report appears to only consider accident data 200metres either side of the speed camera – seemingly ignoring accidents that occur at nearby junctions.
Ms Norman-Philip said it was coming from one of these junctions recently that she nearly had an accident with a Jaguar.
“But if I’d have been killed I would not have been recorded in the figures even though I was just 20metres from the camera,” she added.
“We’re certain that the road was very dangerous and we’re absolutely certain that cameras saved lives.
“Without a constant deterrent we’re certain more serious injuries or deaths will occur.”
Joanna Spicer, the SPA chairman, said: “Prompted by a reduction in government funding, a decision was made last year to decommission four static speed cameras, including the one on the A140 at Brome, and to prioritise two camera sites in the county; the A140 at Coddenham and the A12 at Benhall, which are seen as the most vulnerable areas as potential collision sites.
“All speed enforcement in the county will be discussed at Suffolk County Council’s next road safety partnership meeting in September and the outcome will be fed into a review of the county’s speed camera arrangements, which is being carried out by the constabulary later in the year.
“The concerns of Redlingfield Parish Council will be considered as part of this review.
“Reduction in speeding remains one of our main priorities, in fact this week Suffolk police will be targeting motorists who risk lives by speeding, as part of a week-long enforcement campaign.”