Councillor calls time on cameras

CALLS have been made for a council to spend money on visually-activated speed signs rather than fund speed cameras.

Last week the Gazette reported that a decision to put county council funds into the Northumbria Safer Roads Partnership was deferred after a concern was raised about the effectiveness of speed cameras.

Now plans are under way to look at the most effective use of the council’s money to reduce speeding and improve road safety.

Coun Gordon Castle said: “It is very unlikely that we are going to get speed cameras out of this. You have to have a record of accidents and serious injuries and that isn’t going to happen.

“But the problem here is not the accidents, it is the sense of vulnerability and danger caused by this nuisance.

“Visually-activated signs do work, they would be quite effective and good value for money. There is only so much money to spend on road safety so we have to get the best value possible.

“What I am hoping is going to come from it is a working group which can examine all the evidence to see if we can bottom this out. It will hopefully come up with a cost-effective way of producing effective speed control measures in our communities and effective casualty reduction. There is evidence to show that speed cameras cost 40 times more than visually activated signs and I don’t believe they are 40 times more effective.”