AVERAGE speed cameras are to be installed at two major routes into Preston as part of a drive to reduce the death toll on Lancashire’s roads.
London Road and Brockholes Brow are two of eight sites across the county chosen by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership.
The group says 13 people have lost their lives in collisions at accident blackspots in almost six years, and the sites have also seen a total of 406 casualties since
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques said: “We don’t want to catch you speeding.
“Our primary aim is for all drivers to adhere to the safe speed limits on our roads.”
But one motorist said: “This is definitely a way of nabbing motorists and increasing income and filling their pockets.”
Two main routes into Preston - A59 Brockholes Brow and A6 London Road - are among the sites to get new cameras.
The notorious A675 in Belmont; part of the A583 Preston New Road near Kirkham and A588 Head Dyke Lane in Pilling are also affected by the changes as well as three other sites across Lancashire.
Fines for speeding are at least £100 plus at least three points on your licence.
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, chairman of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said: “These particular roads are proven to be amongst some of our most dangerous.
“It is well researched and documented that speeding can kill, but we know that a combination of education, engineering and enforcement can change behaviours and save lives. This is particularly important where there are recurring problems.
“The Partnership vision, ‘Towards Zero’, is that we work towards preventing all collisions that result in death or serious injury. Using clearly signed average speed cameras will play a vital role as part of this vision.”
The cameras will use number plate recognition technology to detect vehicles and calculate their average speed by measuring the time taken to travel between fixed points of a known distance apart. Average speed check signage will be used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.
Installation work will begin today on the first route, the A6 London Road, Preston, between the Capitol Centre (Winery Road) and Albyn Street East, with enforcement likely to begin around March.
The other routes will have a staggered installation period with all cameras in force by the end of 2017.
A woman and a teenager were killed on Brockholes Brow after being a collision with a car last April. Rachel Marie Murphy, 23, and 17-year-old Shelby Maher were struck by a BMW while crossing the road .And in July, a motorcyclist died following a crash in London Road. Robert Symonowicz, 28, died after a collision with a car.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, said: “In an ideal world drivers would observe the speed limit and we would never have speed related casualties and deaths; but we all know that that is not the case. The casualty toll on these routes has to be tackled and therefore I am pleased that the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership is investing to make these routes safer for all. Evidence shows speed is often a factor in road deaths and serious collisions, so these measures should help to save lives.”
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our roads have become much safer over the past decade with far fewer casualties overall.
“However there are particular roads where the record of speed related casualties remains high, despite considerable investment in targeted safety engineering measures.
“The evidence suggests that average speed cameras will help to tackle this problem, and I look forward to these roads becoming safer following their introduction.”
The Partnership says anyone detected breaching the speed limits, where eligible they will be given the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course, accept a conditional offer of a fixed penalty or for higher speeds the matter may be referred to court.
One motorist who lives in the London Road area said: “Local communities are more interested in having CCTV installed like there is on the Callon estate. With the reduction of officers available on the streets, these CCTV cameras act as a deterrent and keep us feeling safe from crime.
“But unfortunately the Police are not interested and will not pursue this because there is no benefit to them (financially) whereas these cameras are a perfect side income for them.”
County councillor Yousuf Motala, who represents the district including London Road, Preston, said he was unhappy he had not been informed of the proposed speed cameras before reading it on social media. “I would have thought that, as this particular road is in my patch, someone might have had the decency to tell me in advance,” he said. “One of my residents sent me a message asking if it was true and I had to admit I didn’t know.”
What do you think? Does Lancashire need average speed check cameras? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The routes are (cameras will cover traffic flow in both directions):
• A59 Brockholes Brow, Preston (0.5m) between M6 junction 31 and Glenluce Drive.
• A6 London Road, Preston (0.7m) between Capitol Centre (Winery Lane) and Albyn Street East.
• A675 in Belmont (8.5m) between M65 junction 3, through Abbey Village and Belmont to Scout Road.
• A583 Preston New Road (7.5m) between M55 Junction 3 (Peel Road, Peel Hill), through Kirkham bypass, and Blackpool Road at Preston Old Road, Clifton.
• A588 Head Dyke Lane, Pilling (2m) between Fold House Caravan Park and Bourbles Lane.
• A682 Gisburn Road, Pendle (5.2m) between A59 at Gisburn and Whittycroft Avenue (between Barrowford and Blacko).
• B6232 Grane Road, Haslingden (4.7m) between A56 through Haslingden Grane to A6177 Elton Road junction with Sough Lane.
• A565 Southport Road (1.2m) between B5246 at Mere Brow and the Gravel Lane roundabout at Banks.