County to get 50 more speed cameras

By Katy EdwardsALMOST 50 new speed cameras are poised to cast a watchful eye over motorists in Suffolk.Five new fixed cameras and 41 mobile cameras could begin monitoring problem spots across the county from next month in an effort to meet Government targets for reducing the number of casualties on the roads.

By Katy Edwards

SUFFOLK is to get almost 50 more speed camera sites as the county cracks down on motorists who break the law.

The sites for five new fixed cameras and 41 mobile cameras have been unveiled and they could begin monitoring problem spots in the county from next month.

The moves is an attempt to meet Government targets for reducing the number of casualties on the roads of Suffolk.

From April 1, fixed cameras are set to appear on the A1065 at Brandon, the A1144 (Lowestoft North) and the A1304, Hamilton Road Newmarket.

Those three locations accounted for 10 deaths or serious injuries on the roads between 1999 and 2001.

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From June 1, further fixed cameras should also appear on the A140 at Brome and the A140 at Earl Stonham, which together accounted for nine deaths or serious injury incidents over the same period.

They will join Suffolk police's six existing fixed speed camera sites on the A12 at Benhall, the A140 at Coddenham and four cameras on the A14 at Haughley.

In addition, a further 41 mobile cameras will be operational from April and June onwards at a host of other sites across Suffolk, including six on the A12 (Blythburgh, Kelsale, Little Glemham, Lound, Saxmundham, Melton) and four in Ipswich (Norwich Road, A1214 TA Centre, Nacton Road, Foxhall Road).

Experts have predicted a reduction of between 30% and 50% in the number of collisions every year in areas covered by cameras.

Peter Monk, a member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee and the portfolio holder for caring and protecting, said the project would be self-financing, with running costs covered by income from fixed penalty notices.

He added: “This is not an income-generator. Our expectation is that it will maintain the very high level of accident reduction we have in Suffolk.

“In an ideal world, there would be no need for speed cameras, but people seem to need a bit of help to stay within safe speed limits.”

The anticipated income from the first year of operating the scheme is £2.4 million and costs of setting it up will be recoverable with any surplus returned to the Government.

The Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership – the organisation behind the cameras – involves the county council, Suffolk police, the Highways Agency, magistrates' courts and hospitals.

Suffolk Police Authority rubber-stamped the scheme last month, supporting the involvement of about 24 police officers and other staff in the scheme.

Suffolk Magistrates' Courts Committee and the county council will also provide manpower to chase up fines and oversee the project.

Subject to approval from the Department of Transport, Suffolk County Council's executive committee will be asked on February 11 to give the go-ahead for the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership from April 1.

It will be told that to delay the project by just one month could result in five road traffic collisions and a loss of £200,000 from fixed penalty notices.

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