Dozens of speed cameras to be turned on in Bristol

WORK will start early next year to switch on up to 26 speed and traffic light cameras in Bristol, Mayor George Ferguson announced today (Wednesday 11 December).

The announcement follows collaboration between Bristol City Council, Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, and Chief Constable for Avon and Somerset Police Nick Gargan.

The mayor made the announcement at a special road safety summit where he also appealed for more local communities to get involved in speed watch schemes to help boost enforcement of 20, 30 and 40 mph limits.

Speed cameras were switched off in Bristol in March 2011 when funding ceased from central government. National studies consistently demonstrate that cameras can play an effective part in helping to reduce road casualties. Revenue raised from the cameras is used to fund their maintenance and enforcement.

There are 15 community speed watch schemes, where local volunteers are trained to monitor speeds with detection equipment, currently underway or in the process of being set up in Bristol.

Just a small amount of time given each week can discourage drivers and motorcyclists from driving faster than the limit. Work to encourage more volunteer schemes is underway as 20mph areas are rolled out in the city.

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The road safety summit saw more than 120 people come together to hear from the Mayor George Ferguson and Commissioner Sue Mountstevens as they set out their vision for more tolerance on the city’s roads and greater respect between road users.

Mayor George Ferguson said: “While the number of those killed or seriously injured on our roads has reduced recently there are still too many incidents, especially those involving pedestrians and cyclists.

This summit will help us review our policies to ensure we have the right designs and procedures in place and are doing enough to reduce speeds and increase the visibility and awareness of vulnerable road users.

“In the first instance I have asked officers to start work on preparing speed cameras to be switched back on and boost the number of community speed watch programmes in the city.

These measures will boost other efforts to improve the way we all get around the city such as the 20 mph zones that are currently being rolled out.

“Everyone wants safer roads and pavements but it requires a joint effort on the part of all road users and pedestrians to make it happen. The council can do its bit by designing safer street layouts, promoting education programmes and enforcing bus lane and parking laws but all of this will only be effective with mutual respect between everyone who needs to use a limited amount of road and pavement space.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “People are passionate about road safety and I know from the comments I receive in my mailbag that it can really divide people.

The Mayor and I are both keen to find a way of stopping the war between different road users and find a way of building more tolerance and respect.

“It’s important to involve local people in improving road safety. There are lots of ideas and initiatives for tackling the issues that really affect people such as cycling on pavements and speeding cars.

By coming together like this we can hear from residents and tell them about the fantastic ways they can improve their area such as by joining their local community speed watch.”

Chief Constable Nick Gargan said: “I am pleased that the cameras are going to be switched back on. National research shows that they have a positive impact on driver behavior and we have been working with the council to identify a cost neutral way of reactivating them.

“We are also very supportive of additional community speed watch groups in the city. In areas in the force where we have thriving CSW groups they play a significant role in helping to tackle speeding in the area.

“The aim of these measures, and of the road safety summit more broadly, is to identify ways in which the police, our partners and the public can all work together to make Bristol a safer place for all road users.”

There were 147 people killed or seriously injured on Bristol roads in 2012, a 7 per cent reduction on 2011. There were 1,338 total casualties on Bristol roads in 2012, a slight increase on 2011 by 18 per cent below the 2005 – 2009 average.

2,000 million vehicle kilometres are traveled on Bristol’s roads each year.

Bristol has 9 static speed cameras and 17 cameras at traffic lights to enforce stopping at the red light.

In the 10 years between the 2001 and 2011 censuses the number of people walking and cycling to work in Bristol doubled.

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