Call to trial speed camera removal

A campaigner has called for speed cameras to be removed
A campaigner has called for speed cameras to be removed

The police should pilot not having speed cameras in some areas to see what difference it makes, a campaigner has said.

Adrian Neighbour, a former Bucks Fire and Rescue Service employee, has questioned the effectiveness of speed cameras across the Thames Valley, pointing to figures showing they have made little or no difference to accident levels.

Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said speed cameras are an important deterrent that most people support.

Mr Neighbour, from Weston Turville, has compiled data from Thames Valley Police to support his campaign and wants there to be more independent analysis of the figures.

He said: “I was driving to work through Aylesbury over the years and I saw all these fixed and mobile cameras but I have hardly ever known an accident to occur at the location. I’m not against speed cameras, possibly they do a good job. All I’m arguing for is some degree of accountability and transparency.”

Figures show since speed cameras were put in at various points around Aylesbury, such as Elmhurst Road and Churchill Avenue, there have been varying collision rates but no clear downward trend.

Thames Valley Police says it has no performance measures or targets for speed cameras, which Mr Neighbour believes means there is no strategy.

However, the commissioner says there cannot be targets for everything. Mr Stansfeld said: “This is very much a local issue for each local area commander who runs his local area operationally. If speed cameras are not being effective then they should be moved to somewhere where they can be more effective.”

The commissioner warned removing speeds cameras could spark a rise in accidents, but Mr Neighbour called on him to pilot it at some sites so decisions are ‘evidence based’.

According to Mr Neighbour’s research, a speed camera in Bucks typically generated £18,180 in 2010, assuming all fines were paid. Thames Valley Police does not have a set budget for speed cameras. It takes money for them from the operational equipment budget or capital programme.