New speed camera system introduced

SPEEDING motorists on one of the region's busiest roads will face an extra threat from today after a new speed camera system was introduced in Suffolk for the first time.

SPEEDING motorists on one of the region's busiest roads will face an extra threat from today after a new speed camera system was introduced in Suffolk for the first time.

The cameras, managed by Suffolk SafeCam, will measure drivers' average speed travelling over the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich while a 40mph speed limit is in place.

They will be mounted on poles over the road at either end of the bridge, on the A14, and will create a speed control zone for the duration of a Highways Agency bridge inspection.

As vehicles pass between the cameras they will be digitally recorded, with the time it takes for the vehicle to travel between both points used to calculate the average speed.


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If a vehicle exceeds the average speed limit, a speeding violation record will be automatically generated.

Terry Marsh, project manager for Suffolk SafeCam, said: "One of the main benefits of this system is that the cameras measure average speeds and can cover long stretches of road.

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"This means that the entire stretch of the safety zone is enforced and drivers are therefore discouraged from speeding up once they have passed a camera.

"Much of the safety inspection will take place underneath and inside the bridge itself, it is therefore essential that we are able to control driver speeds throughout the safety zone."

Michelle Finnerty, communications manager for the group, added: "This is the first time that this camera system has been used in Suffolk but we know that it has been very successful in other counties.

"We want drivers to understand that the reduced speed limit is in place for good reason. In 2002, the year for which the latest figures are available, five road workers were killed and 29 seriously injured in the course of their work."

Paul Watters, head of roads and transport policy at the AA Motoring Trust, said that because the cameras were recording an average speed across a set distance the system was actually much fairer.

"It's very effective and has the approval of the Department of Transport and the police scientific branch," he added.

"Drivers don't need to feel so afraid if they marginally break the speed limit because the chances are as it's an average speed over a set distance they will be able to slow back down again and even it out."

The bridge inspection is expected to take between six and eight weeks and a reduced speed limit of 40mph will be in place 24 hours day, seven days a week on both carriageways.

Inspector Alan Pawsey, of Suffolk police, said: "Warning signs will be in place to advise road users that they will be entering an average speed control zone.

"There will also be vehicle activated signs to assist and remind drivers of the 40mph speed limit."

Further information on campaigns and weekly mobile camera locations can be found at www.suffolksafecam.co.uk

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