‘Absolute nightmare’ 20mph speed camera catches 1,100 drivers within a day of activation

County Durham: Bird box is disguised as a speed camera

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While officials say the camera is needed in order to save lives, others have simply branded it as a money-making exercise. In an eight week test period before the camera went live, over 23,500 motorists were caught out – a figure branded “troubling” by a police chief.

The 1,100 unlucky drivers caught this week face having to attend a speed awareness course, although some could be issued fines and penalty points.

Although some locals welcomed the measures, others were furious.

Carl White, who owns a cafe near the camera’s location, branded it a cash cow.

He told The Sun: “It is an absolute nightmare, the limit is dangerously slow. I think they are doing all they can to rob people.”

But another resident, Al Stewart, disagreed, saying: “The main thing is the noise, everyone on the street loves how much quieter it is.”

The system was installed by Plymouth council after a consultation last year in which residents said they would prefer to see an average speed system put in place rather than traffic calming measures.

Supt Adrian Leisk, strategic roads policing lead for Devon and Cornwall Police and chair of the Vision Zero enforcement activity group, said: “The results from the cameras’ test period are really troubling and drivers are obviously ignoring the clear 20mph signs in that area.

“Speed is a big contributory factor in serious collisions. Travelling too fast both reduces the time in which a driver can react and increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries in the event of a collision.”

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A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council added: “We consulted with residents at the end of last year about extending the existing 20mph speed limit.

“They told us they did not want the traffic calming measures we had put forward, but instead wanted average speed cameras.

We listened, redesigned the scheme and secured the extra funding needed.

“This scheme is about keeping people safe on a very busy narrow road. Keep your speed down and you won’t get fined.”

The camera uses ANPR to identify vehicles and calculate their average speed between different camera locations.

The camera is capable of working in all weathers and at vehicles’ maximum speeds, reported the Mirror.

It comes in the same week that it was revealed a bus lane camera has issued almost 30,000 fines to drivers in one spot in Gateshead town centre, despite its fines being suspended for several months.

A total of 29,895 charges were issued from the town centre spot between April 2021 and March 2022.

This equates to almost £1.8million worth of £60 notices.

Luckily for drivers, Gateshead Council put a complete hold on fines on Askew Road between October and January while the street was being redesigned.

Otherwise, the number of fines could have been significantly higher.

Gateshead Council’s service director for highways and waste, Marc Morley, said the authority was “as fair as possible” in its operation of the controversial Askew Road camera.

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