Road casualties to be tackled with average speed cameras
EIGHT routes where 13 people have lost their lives in road accidents in almost six years (01/01/2011 to 01/10/2016) are being targeted in a bid to cut down on the number of casualties. The routes across Lancashire have seen a total of 406 casualties with 62 people suffering serious or life changing injuries since 2011.
Now the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership has given the go ahead for new average speed enforcement camera systems on the routes, with the hope of reducing the death toll and making the roads safer for all to use.
The routes are (cameras will cover traffic flow in both directions):
- A565 Southport Road (1.2m) between B5246 at Mere Brow and the Gravel Lane roundabout at Banks. *This route has since been updated*
- A583 Preston New Road (7.5m) between M55 Junction 4 (Peel Road, Peel Hill), through Kirkham bypass, and Blackpool Road at Preston Old Road, Clifton. *This route has since been updated*
- A588 Head Dyke Lane, Pilling (2m) between Fold House Caravan Park and Bourbles Lane.
- A59 Brockholes Brow, Preston (0.5m) between M6 junction 31 and Glenluce Drive.
- A6 London Road, Preston (0.7m) between Capitol Centre (Winery Lane) and Albyn Street East.
- A675 in Belmont (8m) between M65 junction 3, through Abbey Village and Belmont to Scout Road.
- A682 Gisburn Road, Pendle (5.2m) between A59 at Gisburn and Whittycroft Avenue (between Barrowford and Blacko).
- B6232 Grane Road, Haslingden (4.7m) between A56 through Haslingden Grane to A6177 Elton Road junction with Sough Lane.
Alongside Lancashire Constabulary the Partnership, which includes representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, has decided to adopt the system using average speed cameras as safety and motorist compliance has consistently improved on a variety of road types using the system in other parts of the UK.
The cameras will use Automatic Number Plate Recognition to detect vehicles and calculate their average speed by measuring the time taken to travel between fixed points of a known distance apart. Average Speed Check signage will be used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.
The introduction of the system is intended to positively influence driver behaviour and ensure that motorists comply with the set limits on roads, resulting in a safer environment for all road users.
Installation work will begin on Monday 9 January on the first route, the A6 London Road, Preston, between the Capitol Centre (Winery Road) and Albyn Street East, with enforcement likely to begin around March. The seven other routes will have a staggered installation period with all cameras in force by the end of 2017.
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Chair of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said: “Our primary aim and intention is for all drivers to adhere to the speed limit on our roads, therefore reducing the risk of collisions and making our roads safer for all to use.
“It is well documented and well researched that speeding does kill, but we know that a combination of education, enforcement and engineering solutions can save lives and reduce the number of people seriously injured on the county’s roads.
“Using average speed cameras is just one way that can help us achieve further steps ‘Towards Zero Lancashire’ which is the vision of the partnership – preventing all collisions that result in death and serious injury.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jacques added: “Most people will see no impact to their overall journeys as this is all about enforcing speed limits that already exist on the routes. Journey times are likely to be more reliable as the cameras will reduce the number of incidents that require road closures.”
Research by the RAC Foundation showed that the numbers of fatal and serious collisions decreases by around a third after average speed cameras are introduced. As part of the LRSP’s average speed project, research will be conducted to review speed data, traffic flow and casualty information on all of the routes.
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: “In an ideal world drivers would observe the speed limit and we would never have speed related casualties and deaths; but we all know that that is not the case. The casualty toll on these routes has to be tackled and therefore I am pleased that the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership is investing to make these routes safer for all. Evidence shows that speed is often a factor in road deaths and serious collisions, so these measures should help to save lives.”
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our roads have become much safer over the past decade with far fewer casualties overall.
“However there are particular roads where the record of speed related casualties remains high, despite considerable investment in targeted safety engineering measures.
“The evidence suggests that average speed cameras will help to tackle this problem, and I look forward to these roads becoming safer following their introduction.”
The proposed routes chosen by the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership have been based on the following criteria:
- There is a history of collisions and casualties within the routes.
- Speed surveys indicate that speeding vehicles is an issue.
- Some of the routes have been identified as needing action around speed and road safety issues, but there aren’t any other realistic or appropriate enforcement options.
There will be sanctions for anyone detected breaching the speed limits, but where eligible they will be given the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course to learn about the dangers of speeding, accept a conditional offer of a fixed penalty or face an appearance at court.