March 10 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 5, 2013
New average speed cameras are to be introduced on the A12 between Ipswich and the M25 next year in a bid to cut accidents.
Cameras are to be installed on 2.3 miles of the A12 between the Four Sisters junction near East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary at a cost of £843,000.
And more cameras will be installed by the Highways Agency on the road near Kelvedon at a cost of £983,000.
The Suffolk cameras will be installed between September and November next year – with the Essex cameras following between November next year and January 2015.
There could be more average speed cameras introduced as well – on the A14 Orwell Bridge as part of a speed reduction project.
The speed limit on the section of the A12 covered by the cameras will remain 70mph.
The Suffolk cameras would be the first in the county aimed at reducing speed on a notorious stretch of the A12. Average speed cameras were introduced on the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon in 2007.
During their first two years of operation the number of accidents on the road fell from 70 a year to 41 a year. The number of serious accidents fell from just over eight a year to less than one a year, and there were no fatalities on that stretch of road.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore had talks with the Highways Agency last month.
The Agency said it would be consulting on reducing the speed limit on the Orwell Bridge and installing cameras between the Nacton and Wherstead junctions in a bid to reduce accidents which lead to the closure of the road and major traffic problems in Ipswich town centre.
Mr Passmore said: “There has to be consultations, but I would hope there could be new limits and cameras on the bridge as soon as possible.”
However it does take time for the Agency to get camera positions finalised – it has been working on the sites on the A12 since last year.
The AA welcomed proposals to introduce average speed cameras on the A12 as a move to help reduce accidents.
Paul Watters from the motorists’ organisation said: “We have done surveys of our membership and about 70% are in favour of roadside technology to improve safety.
“I think most motorists are responsible and should not be affected by the presence of the average speed cameras – but they should be a deterrent to the idiots who totally ignore speed limits.”
Mr Watters said that as more traffic wanted to use roads, making them even busier, schemes like average speed cameras would probably become more common in an attempt to ensure traffic kept moving.