A120 speed cameras in Tendring could become permanent

A speed camera.

A speed camera. - Credit: Archant

Speed cameras recently installed along the Tendring stretch of the A120 could remain even after a new roundabout is built.

The cameras at Little Bentley, which went live at the beginning of this month, enforce a new 50mph speed limit introduced in December in a bid to reduce accidents at two blackspots around dangerous junctions.

They were installed after a long-fought campaign to improve safety in the short- to medium-term until a roundabout is constructed at one of the junctions along the road.

However Highways Agency officials, who recently announced design work for a roundabout at the Harwich Road junction would go ahead, have now told senior councillors the cameras could be kept even after the road feature is built.

They confirmed at a meeting of the Tendring Locality Board the agency’s preferred option would be to remove the camera-enforced speed restriction and allow traffic to flow freely once the roundabout is built.

But officers also recognised the lower limit was backed by a large proportion of the local community and could aid road safety, and therefore could be retained on a permanent basis instead of as a short-term measure.

Anecdotal evidence provided by the Highways Agency shows compliance with the lower speed limit from motorists is good.

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However, it is too early to say for certain the effect the cameras and speed reduction is having in terms of overall safety.

This could take around three years of collision data to fully prove the effectiveness of the reduced speed limit.

Carlo Guglielmi, locality board member and Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for planning, thanked the Highways Agency for both the speed cameras and promise of a roundabout.

He said: “We are delighted about the news that a roundabout is to be built but we still want the cameras to remain at the other junctions.”

Andy Jobling, Highways Agency asset development manager, said: “Safety is a top priority for us and we recognise that the 50mph speed limit is supported by local residents.

“We continue to work on the design for the roundabout at the Harwich Road junction and various options will be considered to help reduce collisions on the A120.”

The Harwich Road junction had been chosen ahead of the Pellens Corner junction for the roundabout following consideration of the benefits of each site.

Design work for the roundabout is continuing and topographical surveys by agency engineers are nearing completion, before the next stage of planning can begin.