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Lichfield MP backs Conservative plan to cut speed camera numbers

A speed camera

A speed camera

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has backed Conservative proposals to cut the number of speed cameras on the region’s roads.

Under the proposals, a Tory Government have said local councils would need to find the funding to install new cameras and prove that they cut road accidents.

And Mr Fabricant backed the plans from his party officials – claiming road safety needs to have more of a focus on education rather than punishment.

He explained:

“The number of speed cameras in Staffordshire and the West Midlands is excessive. There are currently 68 cameras in Staffordshire and 289 in the West Midlands.  A Conservative Government would slash these numbers and instead use vehicle activated warning flashing signs and better education.

“We’ll abolish those ghastly and unaccountable safety camera quangos and force councils to publish the revenue raised from each individual speed camera.

“And there will be far tougher controls on rogue wheel clampers who operate on private land and have made motorists’ lives a misery.”

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

As well as tackling clampers, the Lichfield MP also gave his support to plans to ease the lives of motorists. He said:

“Getting around has become a daily grind under the present Government. Law-abiding drivers have to avoid endless road works, rogue clampers extorting cash and speed cameras designed to raise money rather than improve safety.  

“We will increase the maximum level of fines for over-running road works and speed up the delivery of schemes that need a permit.  The current rules only require utilities to give notice of work rather than apply for a permit to carry them out at a certain time. We will give local authorities the power to put tougher restrictions on work on key routes, including piloting lane rental so utilities firms will have to pay a rental fee for they time they occupy the road.

“We will also introduce a national code of conduct for those who dig up our roads, drawing on the code successfully agreed in London, to cover issues including signage, inspection, deliveries and the removal of spoil outside peak times. This will all make a huge difference to the current disruption we all suffer from.

“Conservatives will use practical, common sense measures to tackle the congestion that is costing the West Midland’s economy millions. There should be more openness on how transport decisions are made that affect all our lives.”

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  1. Nigel Lord

    20th October, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    The article says “Under the proposals, a Tory Government have said local councils would need to find the funding to install new cameras and prove that they cut road accidents.”

    Have I missed something?

  2. Unconcerned Citizen

    20th October, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Without checking up – i think some cameras are Funded by the police and others are funded by the county council.
    Although it makes no odds who funds them when they are such a great money spinner.

    If the Tories get in during the next election – they better stick to their promises on this one. Drivings getting too expensive and im running out of points.

  3. Brownhillsbob

    20th October, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Have you tried slowing down, at all?


  4. Unconcerned Citizen

    20th October, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Yes i have tried slowing down. – cheers Bob
    This tends to increase the number of reckless impatient drivers who overtake me – im not sure what the solution is –
    Perhaps driving a scythed chariot ?

    One of my speeding offences was on the M42 at 3.00am in the morning (on a roadworks contraflow).
    The roadworks were finished, there were no workers, all lanes were open (the roadworks were complete it was just a case of removing the signs and traffic cones) – home office guidelines clearly state that average speed cameras are to protect road workers and ease congestion at contraflows – quite irrelevant at 3am when the roads are empty and the road workers are in bed – but still a nice earner – eighty quid fine and 3 points.

    MY other offence was at streethay coming off the a38 (a mobile speed camera favourite). 40 mph in a 30 zone – which i think is fair enough apart from that as far as i know – streethay isn’t an accident blackspot.
    Stick that van near schools and on weston road/dimbles lane/purcell avenue and i think safety will be increased. 45mph in this 20 mph zone is very common – which should be an instant ban.

    Having had no points for 13 years and all of a sudden 2 in twelve months suggests i’m getting sloppy or there is an alarming increase in detection rates.

  5. Brownhillsbob

    20th October, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    S’funny, you know, all the drivers I consider safest and most skilled seem to manage OK. I think you’re probably getting sloppy.


  6. Unconcerned Citizen

    20th October, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I think you are right Bob – i expect that the pressures of the recession upon a self employed driver (longer hours etc) may have caused me to get sloppy.

    My biggest gripe is the number of points we are allowed.
    We all get 12 (unless you are fortunate enough to go before a very generous/senile magistrate).

    I do 60000 miles per year. its 3 strikes (in 3 years) and your out in this game – so im allowed 1 minor offence per 60,000 miles.

    Your average non proffessional (inexperienced) common or garden driver at best (for ease of maths) does 20,000 miles per year..
    He is allowed one minor offence per 20,000 miles.

    As you can see – the odds are against me by a factor of 3.
    Unitl you take into account that your average joe can ask his mom/dad/girlfirend/wife to take 3 points for him – which i cannot do for my vehicle. Nobody even looks at the photos – this is blind justice to the extreme. Its nonsensical.

    So the average joe who doesn’t mind perverting the cause of justice (i would too if could) is generally 6 times less likely to face a ban than i am.

    Speed cameras dont prevent the bad egg speeding drivers re-offending for up to 6 offences.
    Maybe 7 or 8 if they get a ‘soft touch’ magistrate.

    Bob are you still driving vauxhall vivas and allegroes over in brownhills? cars are faster nowadays and the brakes are better than the 1950s ford anglia upon which safe stopping distances are based upon.

    Its time for a rethink.

  7. gastank

    20th October, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Do you not have a sat nav with all the fixed and mobile van sites loaded into it? Of course this will not pick up a Police check that can be anywhere but they seem less frequent these days.

    SPECS can be defeated by leaving the average speed area in a different lane to one you entered. Also I think the camera partnerships post the locations where the vans will be on a certain day but obviously not the times.

    Getting picked up by a Gatso in daytime would be a bit dim really with the part yellow box and road markings.

    Some people also share the points with a partner, as it can sometimes be difficult to remember who was driving on a particular day. Obviously doing this when you know for certain that it was not your partner driving would be criminal.

  8. Steve

    20th October, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I got done twice in a twelve month period after nothing at all for 21 years. I am convinced that the cameras are placed in the places that would gather the most revenue. I agree with the point that the mobile one would be best placed in the 20 mph areas listed – that where the bloody boy racers in souped up Saxos are most likely to kill a kid!

  9. GrovesMedia

    21st October, 2009 at 9:54 am

    A mobile speed van on Weston Road would be a great idea. It might persuade the bus drivers to stick to the 20mph limit then.

    And who know, they may even stop complaining about how the speed bumps disrupt their passengers if they are forced to stick to the correct limit.

  10. Class Crisis

    21st October, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Better they replace the speed bumps with some kind of actual speed enforcement. Some boy racer flying down the middle of the road at you so he can get his moms Corsa between the bumps is great if you want people to be in touch with their own mortality. The bus must be the only vehicle that uses Weston road that is slowed down by them.

  11. GrovesMedia

    21st October, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Maybe its just the times of day I’m using it, but the buses rarely seem to go below 30mph and the school run mums and dads are a bigger menace than boy racers.

  12. Class Crisis

    21st October, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    There’s something in that. Regardless of the time and the menace though, something that actually enforces the speed limit would be much better than those speed humps which simply don’t.

  13. GrovesMedia

    21st October, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    True enough. Speed humps don’t really do the job.
    Equally, the traffic calming on Shortbutts Lane doesn’t work – it just means drivers speed up between the little islands.
    The only conclusion is we’re a nation of bad drivers who don’t care about anyone else and think rules of the road are for others, not them.
    So they deserve to be fined when they caught by speed cameras.

  14. Class Crisis

    21st October, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I agree that those caught speeding have no one to blame but themselves. Cameras aren’t the way to go though. Traffic cops are. Cameras can’t spot a drunk or a driver who can see the camera and slows down for 50 yards then hits the gas again and they don’t see all the other stuff going on around them.

    From my experience of driving abroad I don’t think we’re that bad here, better than the Italians and the Americans for certain.

  15. Asellus aquaticus

    23rd October, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I must live in a different North Lichfield to Class Crisis and Groves Media. I know speed bumps aren’t popular – but I think a lot of people here have short memories. Does anybody remember the typical speeds of most users of Curborough Road before the bumps? The only think that slowed the traffic down then was the endless supply of learner drivers.

    Now theres’ a thought, mandatory learner drivers in all the schoo/rat runs…

  16. Unconcerned Citizen

    23rd October, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Asellus aquaticus – i remember back in the 1980s the speed cars used to do regularly in the ‘suburbs’.
    I live on wheel lane – i assure you that the speed humps along wheel lane and weston road do not prevent speeding. You can drive inbetween most of them – and some are low enough to have no effect if your car has a wide wheel base.
    People are still doing 45 mph along wheel lane and weston road. (by my estimates).
    Admitidly in the past i expect speeds of 60 mph were more common – but i expect the change is due to education and the new(ish) 20 mph limit rather than the speed humps slowing people down.
    An increased number of parked cars has no probably been the greatest factor in slowing the traffic.

    As for learner drivers – surely it must be burntwoods turn to facilitate the test centre for a while?