Suffolk: County could have fewer mobile speed cameras after public has say

Tim Passmore

Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

The number of mobile speed cameras in Suffolk could be reduced as the county’s police and crime commissioner looks at how limits are enforced in the county.

There are currently three mobile camera vans used on the county’s roads – but Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said he would be reviewing this following a major public consultation.

Every month Mr Passmore raises an issue and seeks public views on that – in June he asked for the public’s view on speeding and enforcement issues.

This brought the biggest single response of any issue he has raised – more than 2,000 comments – with widely varying views.

Mr Passmore said his staff are still analysing the responses, but this could lead to a change in the way the issue is tackled.

He said: “It could be that we reduce the number of mobile speed cameras. Many people feel they are in the wrong place, in areas where there are no serious accident problems and they are only there as a revenue-raising exercise.

“Even when the cost driver awareness courses is taken into account, the net cost of running these vans is £370,000 a year.

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“We are always going to need at least one – for roads where there is a clear need to deter speeding or after an accident or series of accidents.

“But whether we still need all three, that is something to look at.”

Meanwhile the county council may change the rules about how speed limits are set in communities across Suffolk after a growth of requests over recent years.

Villages in rural areas have asked the county council to extend or lower speed limits – and an increasing number of representatives from housing estates in larger towns have asked for more 20mph limits to be introduced.

Strict criteria apply before any speed limits can be changed, but next week’s full meeting of the county council will hear that a committee is to be set up to consider changes to the rules.

Cabinet member for roads and transport Graham Newman will announce that the all-party committee, chaired by new Clare county councillor Mary Evans, would look at how the rules could be changed.

He said: “We are getting an increasing number of requests for new speed limits – but with the criteria we have at the moment it is almost impossible to bring in any further changes.

“That is why we are setting up this committee to look at the rules that apply.

“However before there are any changes we will have to consider all aspects to them – and speak to the police about how they could be enforced.

“There is no point in introducing a new speed limit if the police say they would be unable to enforce it – we have to work with them on this.”

He aims to have a report from the committee prepared by the late autumn which would then go back to the council for a final decision.

Mr Passmore said both his office and the police were involved in the discussions about how speed limits are set and would be working with the county council to ensure any changes were enforceable.