Speed cameras will not be switched back on - says North Somerset Council

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 June 2014

Elfan Ap Rees.

Elfan Ap Rees.

Archant

SPEED cameras will not be switched back on in North Somerset, as council chiefs say they have seen no increase in accidents.

Avon and Somerset Chief Constabulary launched a campaign last year to revive the cameras, offering to buy them from the authority for £1.

Superintendent Ian Smith is determined to reactivate the 52 cameras in the area in the hope it will reduce the dangers around North Somerset roads.

However, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees says he believes fixed speed camereas are only necessary under ‘very limited circumstances’.

He said: “I believe mobile enforcement at selected hotspots is more effective as speeding drivers invariably slow down when they see a fixed camera and then speed up again afterwards.”

While Somerset County Council has taken the deal on offer from the police, the Mercury has also reported how fellow executive North Somerset, councillor Felicity Baker says she does not support the idea because it will not make the council a profit.

Cllr Ap Rees, who is also the executive member for highways, said the equipment, which has been switched off since 2010, is not necessary.

He added: “Since we switched off our cameras we have seen no increase in accidents caused by speeding. Where necessary we are investing in vehicle-activated speed signs, so see no need to go back to fixed cameras which are largely outmoded in the 21st century.

“There will always be a minority who deliberately speed but fixed cameras rarely have an effect as the serial speeders simply slow down while passing.”

When asked if the cameras will ever come back to the district, he said: “No-one can say never.

“Technology is changing all the time and there may be new demands.

“For example I believe cameras to catch drivers jumping red lights and blocking yellow boxes are needed at present, rather than static speed cameras which are better replaced by mobile enforcement at key spots.”

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