Friday, 28 June 2013

Britain's most lucrative speed camera has earned £1.6 million in eight years

Britain's most lucrative speed camera has earned £1.6 million in eight years

A speed camera on New Road in Worcester has clocked up an astonishing £1.6 million in fines since it was installed in 2004.

The device caught 22,942 drivers between 2004 and 2012 – 2,867 every year or around eight every day.

Bizarrely, the road is one of the safest in Worcestershire with just one person suffering serious injuries since 2004.

Despite this, all of the speeding motorists who broke the 30 mph limit accepted the conditional offer a fixed £60 penalty, giving the Government a cash injection of £1,376,520.

Another 3,049 drivers have completed the £85 speed awareness course after being caught by the flashing Gatso – leading to further cash boost of £259,165.

Defending the camera, Helen Roberts, a business analyst for the Safer Roads Partnership, which is in charge of the cameras, said: "Between 1994 and 2004, 11 people have been killed or seriously injured, nine on New Road.

"Since installation of the camera this has decreased to one collision of the same category and 15 people have been involved in collisions and sustained slight injuries.

"The severity has decreased, because the speeds of vehicles have decreased, showing that the camera is saving lives."

But many locals have reacted angrily to the news that the camera had raked so much money in, all of which ends up in a central Government pot.

One driver, Stewart Williams, 28, from Worcester, said: "The cameras are purely about greed.

"Speed humps are the best way to slow down drivers and prevent crashes.

"So if road safety was really at the heart of the issue then you would see more speed humps.

"But they don't generate money so instead you see cameras all over the place acting as a way to generate easy money for the Government."

Another motorist, Sue Bishop, 45, added: "No pedestrians try to cross three lanes of busy traffic on New Road.

"It's not about safety, it is about raking in millions of pounds.

"People slow down for the cameras and then speed up as soon as they're out of range.

"They're totally pointless. The sooner they get rid of them and think of a proper way to solve road safety issues the better."

Worcestershire is host to a hefty 55 mobile and static speed devices but Britain's most profitable speed camera was revealed as a temporary device on the southbound A1 between junctions four and five.

The camera snapped an average of 789 drivers a month and figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed it earns around £568,000 a year

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