Home Secretary asked to explain why he's holding up Fenland safety cameras

PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:16 02 June 2010

40ft, forty foot pictures

40ft, forty foot pictures

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON HOME Secretary Alan Johnson was asked to explain last night why he s held up the £300,000 installation of safety cameras on a Fenland road which has claimed six lives in three years. Councillor Mac McGuire, Cambridgeshire Count

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON

HOME Secretary Alan Johnson was asked to explain last night why he's held up the £300,000 installation of safety cameras on a Fenland road which has claimed six lives in three years.

Councillor Mac McGuire, Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Access, said: "We are extremely frustrated with the time it has taken the Government to give it technical approval and sign it off."

Two years after the cameras for the Forty Foot between Chatteris and Ramsey were agreed, and months after ground works were completed, the lack of Government approval is baffling county councillors.

"Fenland and Cambridgeshire will be leading the country with the use of this type of camera along waterside roads," said Cllr McGuire.

"Although this does allow extra time for the earth works that we carried out earlier in the year to settle along these unstable banks I am keen that we get on with this work as soon as possible.

"We understand that technical checks are important but we have been waiting for two years and had expected the Home Secretary to have signed this off by now and the cameras installed.

"I will be writing to the Home Secretary to express our deep frustration on the time it takes to bring in these cameras that will improve road safety."

Without approval being given the cameras could not be used to enforce the speed limit. Many of the accidents along the Forty Foot have been found to involve motorists driving at high speeds or carrying out dangerous manoeuvres. One driver was caught doing 100mph along the 50mph road.

An in-depth investigation by county council road safety engineers showed the best way or reducing accidents along the relatively straight stretch of road was by slowing motorists down. They concluded that a barrier system would be difficult to build and would not prevent an accident happening in the first place.

Cllr McGuire said it is quite clear motorists are prepared to drive at horrendous speeds along the Forty Foot "without any consideration of other motorists or the consequences of their action".


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