Speed cameras in South Gloucestershire to be turned back on

South Gloucestershire's speed cameras are to be turned back on

South Gloucestershire's speed cameras are to be turned back on

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

SPEED cameras in South Gloucestershire are to be switched back on, it has been decided.

A split vote on the controversial move means eight council-owned cameras will be transferred to police ownership and will be turned back on by Avon and Somerset Constabulary. No date has yet been given for the cameras to go live.

The controversial decision split political parties on South Gloucestershire Council’s planning, transportation and strategic environment committee last Wednesday (June 11) with four Liberal Democrat and three Labour councillors out voting the Conservatives’ six councillors to turn the cameras back on.

The council’s strategic road safety manager, Rob Joyce, said speed measurements at sites where the cameras remain in place including on the A432 Badminton Road at Nibley, Westerleigh Road in Yate and on the A38 near Alveston showed 85 per cent of drivers still slowed down despite the cameras not being in operation and there had been no increase in accidents at the sites.

Last month the authority announced road accident rates in South Gloucestershire had continued to fall since speed cameras were switched off in March 2011 and had reached their lowest level since the council was formed in 1996.

Figures show the total casualty figure for the district in 2013 was 645, down 1.2 per cent from the 2012 figure of 653. In 2012 South Gloucestershire also had the second lowest average casualty rates per billion vehicle miles travelled among the English local authorities.

The Tories said those figures were enough to warrant consulting the public before deciding whether speed cameras should be brought back into use.

Cllr Brian Allinson (Con, Stoke Gifford) said: “As a police officer for over 30 years and a councillor for 11 years, I’ve always wanted to see evidence before making a decision, including knowing what the public thinks.

“The evidence locally shows that - since the speed cameras were switched off in 2011 - South Gloucestershire accident rates have continued to fall and now stand at their lowest level ever.

“The council should therefore be open and honest about the questionable evidence behind speed cameras and give local people a chance to have their say on this important issue.”

The speed cameras will now be sold to Avon and Somerset Constabulary for a nominal fee believed to be £1 each and the police will operate the cameras.

The force has asked all authorities within its region to consider selling their cameras or reactivating and operating them themselves.

The move follows Chief Constable Nick Gargan’s wish to turn all cameras back on when he came to office last year. Mr Gargan is currently on paid leave after being suspended last month following allegations he acted inappropriately towards female staff.

Comments (3)

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6:25pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Thornburyboy says...

As there is apparently no evidence that switching the cameras off increased either speeding or accidents, it is a waste of police resources to invest time and money in an unnecessary activity whilst simultaneously complaining about cuts in funding and lack of resources.
As there is apparently no evidence that switching the cameras off increased either speeding or accidents, it is a waste of police resources to invest time and money in an unnecessary activity whilst simultaneously complaining about cuts in funding and lack of resources. Thornburyboy
  • Score: 5

8:26am Sat 14 Jun 14

Cuthbert Thickett says...

Yet another backward step from South Glos council,

"Figures show the total casualty figure for the district in 2013 was 645, down 1.2 per cent from the 2012 figure of 653"

So its all about control, and raising fines. Sod all about safety.
Yet another backward step from South Glos council, "Figures show the total casualty figure for the district in 2013 was 645, down 1.2 per cent from the 2012 figure of 653" So its all about control, and raising fines. Sod all about safety. Cuthbert Thickett
  • Score: 6

7:25pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Born,Bred&Disillusioned says...

If a person goes past a speed camera to fast and gets caught, and continues their journey in excess of the speed limit, then is involved in an accident a mile or so down the road, that camera did not prevent the accident, thus its all about money and not safety.
If the authorities were concerned about road safety, drivers would be trained to much higher standards in the first place. They would also re-test drivers every few years. Its amazing how in the workplace, we have to take regular training to operate machinery, but not when operating a car.
And now South Gloustershire council seem to be hell bent on actually creating kayos on the roads, reference pinch points going into Westerligh village and even a speed hump on a main road. If that is not seen by a driver, it has the potential to create an accident.
Then take into account slowing down roads to the point that drivers will soon start to loose concentration due to not enough stimulation to keep the brain engaged with the task in hand.
Then take a look at the appauling road design on the dual carriage way in Sodbury, where they have started a cycle lane right on the brow of a hill. Whoever designed this is not worthy of their job
Be sure, the accident rate will rise, and it will not just be down to speed.
If a person goes past a speed camera to fast and gets caught, and continues their journey in excess of the speed limit, then is involved in an accident a mile or so down the road, that camera did not prevent the accident, thus its all about money and not safety. If the authorities were concerned about road safety, drivers would be trained to much higher standards in the first place. They would also re-test drivers every few years. Its amazing how in the workplace, we have to take regular training to operate machinery, but not when operating a car. And now South Gloustershire council seem to be hell bent on actually creating kayos on the roads, reference pinch points going into Westerligh village and even a speed hump on a main road. If that is not seen by a driver, it has the potential to create an accident. Then take into account slowing down roads to the point that drivers will soon start to loose concentration due to not enough stimulation to keep the brain engaged with the task in hand. Then take a look at the appauling road design on the dual carriage way in Sodbury, where they have started a cycle lane right on the brow of a hill. Whoever designed this is not worthy of their job Be sure, the accident rate will rise, and it will not just be down to speed. Born,Bred&Disillusioned
  • Score: 0

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