Lavenham: DIY speed ‘camera’ is making drivers think

IT is a sight that every motorist dreads. But this speed camera, which looks down on the busy Sudbury Road, in Lavenham, is no ordinary deterrent.

Alan Fayers, 59, said he became so frustrated by a string of accidents and near misses he decided to take matters into his own hands and build his own speed trap.

“Everyone who lives on this road wants the 30mph extended from Lavenham but we were told by the council that it couldn’t be done. I found an old projector and thought, if that was painted yellow it would look like a speed camera,” he said.

Mr Fayers said that over the past 14 months there have been 15 accidents within a mile and a half of his property, but since his ‘camera’ went up late last year he has noticed a drop in speed.

He said: “I think the camera just has a psychological effect. A policeman told me he had checked his speed dial after seeing my camera. But I’ve seen some people really braking.

“It is a really dangerous bit of road and people think because it is a 60mph limit there, that’s the speed they can go. People don’t see the danger. You have to use your head a bit.”

Mr Fayers and other residents along the road said the stretch up to the Waldingfield turn-off became particularly dangerous during the icy weather and again later in the year when more agricultural vehicles travel between Lavenham and Sudbury.

Most Read

The 59-year-old, who runs Bridge Farm, a pet supplies business covering race horses to rabbits, said some customers had even asked him to make them a camera.

But not everyone has been so pleased with Mr Fayers’ DIY efforts.

“People have said what would happen if a car violently brakes and the car behind hits it? But I say that would mean they are travelling too close and too fast,” he said. Pc Enise Howe from Babergh West Safer Neighbourhood Team, who covers the Lavenham parish, said: “We have done previous speed assessments on this stretch of road and found that speeding is not a major issue.

“We are aware of this homemade speed camera device. It is on private property and is not in breach of any law.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “Suffolk County Council works closely with Suffolk police to continually monitor the number of serious and fatal road collisions on Suffolk’s roads and when necessary will carry out reviews of road signage, speed limits and other factors.

“If anyone has concerns over the current speed restrictions within their area they can raise their concerns via their local parish or town council or their Safer Neighbourhood team.”