Police step up speed checks

Neil Snowdon, from Northumberland County Council highways department, county councillor Wendy Pattison and Robbie Burn, chairman of Hedgeley Parish Council with the speed camera van.
Neil Snowdon, from Northumberland County Council highways department, county councillor Wendy Pattison and Robbie Burn, chairman of Hedgeley Parish Council with the speed camera van.

Drivers are being warned to keep their speed in check as police step up enforcement in Powburn.

During October, 481 speeding offences were recorded through the village over a four-day period.

Many of the speeding motorists were travelling at 50mph or over in the 30mph limit, with some travelling at over 60mph. These motorists will face an automatic court summons.

The speed camera enforcement van had been deployed to the area by Northumbria Police in response to safety concerns from local residents and councillors about the high volume of fast-moving traffic passing through the village.

County councillor and local ward member Wendy Pattison said: “We hope that the increase in frequency of speed checks in the village will act as a massive deterrent and a clear reminder to drivers that they are passing through a residential area.

“Reducing the speed of vehicles will greatly reduce the risk and severity of any potential accidents and make Powburn a safer place for everyone.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, added: “Powburn is a speeding hotspot with a high volume of traffic, including many heavy goods vehicles passing through.

“During a recent deployment of the camera van in the village a speeding motorist was caught every two and a half minutes. A quite alarming statistic.”

The camera in the van can detect speeding drivers, anti-social driving such as seat belt offences and drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

PC Burke, of the Northumbria Police Camera Enforcement Unit, said: “The prevalence and consistency of excessively high speeds through this residential area is quite unacceptable.

“Working in close partnership with Northumberland County Council and the local community, the speed camera van was agreed as the most effective resource Northumbria Police had available to try to tackle the issue.

“The van will enforce within the village on an unpredictable basis with no discernible pattern so motorists should have the perception that the van could be there any time.

“It is hoped that this perception will make drivers think twice about speeding which will, in turn, make the road safer for not only themselves but also residents and visitors to the area.”