Azara Blog: County proposes wasting 400000 pounds on speed cameras for Mill Road

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Date published: 2007/12/13

The Cambridge News says:

Speed cameras could be coming to a Cambridge street which has one of the worst accident records in the county.

The £400,000 high-tech camera system and a 20mph speed limit could be installed in Mill Road after 86 injury accidents on either side of the bridge in the last three years.

The accident rate puts Mill Road at number three in the rankings of 195 accident blackspots in Cambridgeshire. Sixty per cent of the accidents involved cyclists.

The Watchman cameras, which use number plate recognition technology, would record anyone who goes over the speed limit and also film traffic on the street - keeping an eye on cyclists and walkers as well as cars.

Up to 11 cameras could go along the mile-long stretch.

Anyone caught speeding would be sent a warning letter.

But if officers spot the same people repeatedly breaking the limit, they could get a knock on the door from the police.

Non-motorists could also fall foul of the cameras, such as children who do not use pedestrian crossings to cross the road, who may get a visit to their school.
Coun Ben Bradnack, Petersfield, queried the expense.

He said: "I'm not hostile to it. It's a recommendation which first of all came from the residents quite a long time ago.

"It's more use in relation to Tenison Road than Mill Road. The possibility of driving at more than 20 mph on Mill Road is pretty slight with the present situation of lighting, illegal parking and the narrowness all the way along.

"I don't think it's going to be easy, in my experience, to enforce 20mph. I'm not sure how good value for money it represents."

Is Mill Road really an "accident blackspot"? Of is it just that there are both a lot of motorised vehicles and other traffic using the road? In other words, per potential incident, is Mill Road really any worse than anywhere else?

Even more of an issue, how many of these accidents involved someone driving more than 20 mph? As Bradnack quite sensibly points out, it would be unusual to be able to drive at more than 20 mph along Mill Road except at night. So how many of these 86 accidents were caused by drivers doing more than 20 mph?

But the most worrying aspect of the article is the claim that "children who do not use pedestrian crossings to cross the road ... may get a visit to their school". So are the police now going to waste time trying to figure out who each and every person is that jaywalks along Mill Road? And then terrorise some poor kid by visiting him in school? Is this what Cambridge has come to?

So the same county that always claims it is short of money wants to waste 400k pounds on this scheme?? Sack everyone and anyone who has anything to do with transport planning in Cambridge.

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