Worle speed camera rakes in £4k a day

Speed camera in operation outside Worle Community School.

Speed camera in operation outside Worle Community School. - Credit: Archant

WESTON’S only working speed camera has caught nearly 2,000 motorists breaking the limit outside a busy school in just 48 days – raking in an astonishing £191,200 in fines.

The huge total amounts to nearly £4,000 a day being paid by drivers clocked at up to 73mph in the 30mph zone outside Worle Community School on New Bristol Road.

The school has a total of 1,496 students and the camera, which is metres away from its building, is the only static camera operating in North Somerset.

It recorded 1,912 drivers breaching the speed limit between February 11 and March 31 this year – an average of 39 people every day, each fined a minimum of £100.

Police say they are ‘disappointed’ at the number of drivers exceeding the limit, while Worle’s headteacher says ‘irresponsible’ speeders are putting children’s lives at risk.

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However, motoring group The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) – which aims to be a voice for motorists across the UK, and says speed cameras should not be used to make money – argues there are times when limits can be broken ‘without endangering anyone’.

Hugh Bladen, a spokesman for the ABD who lives in Weston, said: “We do not approve of this wretched camera.”

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He continued: “We would rather see police on the roads patrolling, spotting the things that cause accidents, like people using their mobile phones.

“Yes, there are times on that road where 30mph is too fast, when there are children milling around, but there are times of day when 30mph can comfortably be exceeded without endangering anyone.

“Speed doesn’t cause accidents, bad driving does.”

But Worle’s headteacher Peter Binding disagrees. He said: “Drivers who ignore the speed limit are putting the lives of young people and their families at risk due to such irresponsible behaviour.

“Motorists should consider that if their child was crossing the road, would they be driving so fast and endangering their child’s life?”

Speed cameras in North Somerset were deactivated in 2011 when Government funding was withdrawn.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary then bought a number of cameras from local authorities for £1 each and the Worle device was officially switched back on in February.

The force’s road safety lead Richard Corrigan said: “We are disappointed that despite the high-profile media campaign that the static cameras would be switched back on, some drivers have continued to ignore the relevant speed limits.

“We are very open in our stance – both in the media and supported by the fact that the sites are highly visible – that we would prefer drivers to slow down, drive safely and adhere to the law, resulting in no offenders being detected.

“Our message remains the same – that drivers should assume they are working, to drive responsibly and within the law.”

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