Temporary 40mph limit in place for seven months for Weaver Viaduct improvements

SPEED cameras will be monitoring motorists on the M56 from next week as vital roadworks get under way.

A £4.6 million improvement on the Weaver Viaduct, on the motorway that serves both Chester and Ellesmere Port, will bring the structure up to modern standards.

The work, near Frodsham, which involves replacing the parapet rails on either side of the viaduct, starts tomorrow and will continue until November.

A temporary speed limit of 40mph on both carriageways will be in place during this time and cameras are to be installed to enforce it.

The cameras, known as specs system, work differently to fixed GATSO ones. A series of them are positioned throughout the roadworks recording the average speed of vehicles 24 hours a day.

Lee Murphy, project manager for Cheshire Safety Camera Partnership, said: “Why should we tolerate drivers breaking the speed limit and putting people’s lives at risk? Nationally seven people have been killed and 22 seriously injured at roadworks in the past three years.

“There are plenty of signs warning drivers of the time-over-distance cameras. We appeal to drivers to slow down when approaching the road works, obey the signs and speed limits in place to ensure the safety of themselves and road maintenance workers.”

Speed camera chiefs highlighted a sample of court cases that were the result of last year’s M6 roadworks where a 40mph speed limit was in place. Despite camera and speed signage, website news and local media coverage, some drivers still disregarded the temporary speed limit between junction 16 and 17 and drove themselves straight to court.

These included:

o A Grand Cherokee Jeep driver was captured driving at 72mph. The result was a £500 fine and loss of licence for seven days.

o A Volvo 850 saloon driver was caught travelling at 80 mph, double the temporary speed limit of 40 mph. The driver was given a £200 fine and loss of licence for 14 days.

o The driver of a Vauxhall Calibra was detected speeding at 79 mph. The licence was endorsed with six penalty points and a £180 fine was issued.

o A Mini-Cooper reached an average speed of 88mph, was fined £120 and the driver lost the driving licence for 56 days.