Damaged speed camera repairs delayed

A SPEED camera burnt down by arsonists 10 months ago will not be replaced until nearly the middle of next year, it has emerged.

Russell Claydon

A SPEED camera burnt down by arsonists 10 months ago will not be replaced until nearly the middle of next year, it has emerged.

Traffic safety bosses will wait until they upgrade all Suffolk's fixed cameras, probably next May, with digital technology instead of carrying out repairs on the damaged device at Stonham Aspal, near Stowmarket.

But a Mid Suffolk councillor who lives 100 yards from the camera has warned people are now abusing the situation and going through the village at dangerous speeds.

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Tony Fowler, who has responsibility for the Stonhams ward, said: “We have noticed living so close people have twigged there is not one there and scuttling through at a rapid rate of knots above what the speed limit is.

“It is disappointing to hear they are not thinking of replacing it until next year.”

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A fixed speed camera was installed on the A140 at Angel Hill, Stonham Aspal, in 2003 after it was identified as one of the eight most dangerous spots in the county.

The road, with a 30mph limit, has since seen a big drop in accidents - although figures have not yet been updated to include the period since the camera was vandalised.

Michelle Finnerty, communications manager for Suffolk SafeCam, said they were continuing to carry out random mobile enforcement at Stonham Aspal in the meantime.

“So much damage was caused to it we were not able to replace the Gatso (yellow box) in its current form,” she said. “We are also looking to replace all the Gatsos with digital technology instead of the wet film used at the minute.

“We do plan to replace it. We still undertake mobile enforcement at that spot. We do the A140 as a route because of the number of crashes.”

The camera at Stonham Aspal has been out of action since last October when it was destroyed in an arson attack. The offenders were said to have attached lorry tyres to the device before setting light to them in the early hours of the morning.

The county currently has 11 fixed speed cameras, but this number will drop by four when the new stretch of carriageway at Haughley on the A14 is opened.

To view more information about the Suffolk SafeCam partnership, or locations of cameras, visit their website: www.suffolksafecam.com

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