'Underhand' A127 speed cameras are now working
7:10am Wednesday 22nd April 2009
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By Sarah Calkin »
CONTROVERSIAL average speed cameras along the A127 are working...at last.
However, motorists believe Essex County Council has been sneaky because it was revealed only yesterday they went fully operational two weeks ago.
The cameras were installed along the 6.2-mile stretch between the Dick Turpin pub, Wickford, and the Southend boundary with much fanfare on January 15.
A month later it was revealed the cameras, which photograph vehicles at a start and finish point to work out their average speed, were not working properly.
It has now been revealed they started functioning on April 7.
Norman Hume, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Although there were issues during the commissioning stage of the scheme, I want to make it absolutely clear the system is fully operational and those who fail to adhere to the new speed limits will be prosecuted.”
Anna Waite, Southend’s cabinet member for transport, branded the delay in releasing the information as “underhand”.
She said: “I am disappointed they didn’t make a public announcement that they were being switched on.
“I don’t condone speeding, but the purpose of the cameras is to encourage people to travel at the right speed, not to pick up law breakers. It’s a tad underhand.”
Drivers have also asked why the council did not tell them.
Taxi driver Anthony Gower, 59, of Acacia Drive, Thorpe Bay, said: “The cameras are just a money-making exercise and by not telling drivers they’re switched on they are just trying to catch them out.”
However, while the cameras were not switched on, council figures claim serious accidents and deaths on the road were down 60 per cent.