Speed cameras WILL be back and it's a 'conversation we're having now,' says Northamptonshire Police chief

'Our fixed camera network for speeding is not current, it is not working... we need to invest and get those switched back on'

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 9:13 am

Police chief Nick Adderley says returning yellow speed cameras to Northamptonshire roads is 'a conversation we are having now.'

The Chief Constable's pledge in 2020 to switch on cameras decommissioned by councillors as a cost-cutting measure more than ten years ago appeared scuppered.

Officials believed the task of renewing out-of-date technology would be impractical.

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Chief Constable Nick Adderley.

But Mr Adderley told a BBC Panorama programme 'Britain's Killer Roads' he is badgering the two local authorities responsible for road safety to get a speed camera network up and running again.

He said: "Our fixed camera network for speeding is not current, it is not working.

"The technology sat within those is old, not fit for purpose so we couldn't switch them on.

"But we need to invest and get those switched back on and that's a conversation we are having now."

Speeding is one of the so-called 'Fatal Four' driving offences alongside drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a phone behind the wheel which are most commonly linked to deaths and serious injuries on roads.

Yet many motorists regard speed cameras as cash cows, raking in millions in extra revenue for the police.

Anyone caught speeding faces a maximum fine of £2,500 plus up to six points on their licence or an immediate ban.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesperson confirmed: “We have expressed an interest in re-introducing fixed speed cameras.

"However, this is very much still at the discussion stage with our road safety partners and the exact options and direction have yet to be agreed.”

Northamptonshire Police has invested millions in roads policing and deploys a fleet of mobile speed enforcement vans using digital cameras covering more than 170 locations county-wide.

But all the county's yellow cameras which were fixed to posts at the roadside were switched off by the former Northamptonshire County Council in 2011.

Housings for most of the cameras remain but many are in a poor state of repair and the technology inside using 35mm film — which needed removing, taking away and developing — is obsolete.

They would need replacing with a new state-of-the-art digital system estimated to cost around £90,000 per camera.

The old County Council has now been replaced by two North and West Northamptonshire unitary authorities, which carry much of the responsibility for road safety.

Both councils have been approached for comment.

According to the BBC, Northamptonshire is one of four police authorites in England and Wales — alongside North Yorkshire, Durham and Wiltshire — currently without any fixed speed cameras.

County Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold admitted: “Creating safer roads and cutting the toll of people killed and seriously injured in our county is vitally important to me.

“My office is part of the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance, which is a group of all the agencies working together to use their respective powers of enforcement, engineering and education to act on collisions on the county’s roads and I will continue to look for and support ways to improve safety.”

■ BBC Panorama on Britain's Killer Roads is available on iPlayer.