New speed cameras to help cut accidents

Published January 12, 2017 at 13:32

Roads near Blackburn and Darwen where people have lost their lives in collisions are being targeted in a bid to cut down 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.
Roads with high numbers of casualties include local routes – the A675 in Belmont and the B6232 Grane Road through Haslingden which runs near the borough.

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.
  • A583 Preston New Road (7.5m) between M55 Junction 3 (Peel Road, Peel Hill), through Kirkham bypass, and Blackpool Road at Preston Old Road, Clifton.
  • 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 (8.5m) 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.

This has shown to improve safety and motorist compliance in other parts of the UK.

The cameras will use number plate recognition technology 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 has begun 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 other routes will have a staggered installation period with all cameras in force by the end of 2017.

Councillor Arshid Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive member for Neighbourhoods and Prevention Services, said:

The introduction of average speed cameras helps to bring down vehicle speeds and in turn helps reductions in road accidents.

These are a popular safety measure across the UK and I am glad that we are adopting it on these two routes. We have a duty to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible and I’m confident that this initiative will help discourage these motorists from driving carelessly or dangerously.”

Councillor John Roberts, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Road Safety Champion, said:

These roads are notorious and have very sadly been the site for a number of fatal road accidents and serious accidents over recent years.

However, a small number of people are still driving too fast and we need to act to prevent further tragic accidents happening. People need to slow down and think more about the consequences. The cameras, and associated signs, are very noticeable; the only people being caught are those who choose to ignore them.”

Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Chair of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said:

We don’t want to catch you speeding. Our primary aim is for all drivers to adhere to the safe speed limits on our roads, and these particular roads are proven to be amongst some of our most dangerous.

It is well researched and documented that speeding can kill, but we know that a combination of education, engineering and enforcement can change behaviours and save lives. This is particularly important where there are recurring problems.

The Partnership vision, ‘Towards Zero’, is that we work towards preventing all collisions that result in death or serious injury. Using clearly signed average speed cameras will play a vital role as part of this vision.”

There will be sanctions for anyone detected breaching the speed limits, 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 for higher speeds the matter may be referred to court.

More information about the average speed cameras can be found on the Partnership website: www.safe2travel.co.uk/speed

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