Mayor Dave Hodgson with average speed camera sign Image: Bedfordshire Borough Council

One camera caught two drivers going over 50mph in a 30 zone

Bedford Borough Council said that Bedfordshire Police issued 1,193 tickets to people caught speeding by the Borough’s average speed cameras in December 2020.

Adding that at one site, Woburn Rd, Kempston, 85 people were caught doing speeds of 40mph or over, including two who were doing over 50mph in this 30mph zone.

People caught by these cameras are either fined £100 and have three points added to their licence (unless given the option to attend a speed awareness course), or may be ordered to go to court.

Also, throughout 2020 over 2,500 vehicles were caught speeding by the Speedwatch van. Any individuals caught speeding by the Speedwatch van receive a letter from the Police.

They may also be visited by the Police, particularly if they are a repeat offender or are travelling at excessive speeds.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said:

“The Council receives no income from average speed cameras, it all goes to the Government, yet each set costs us around £85,000 to install, with ongoing maintenance costs.

“I know how popular these cameras are, in areas across the Borough where speeding traffic is a major problem and a real safety concern for local residents.

“We have a waiting list of over 70 locations for average speed cameras, requested by councillors, parish councils and local communities.

“This is why I have written to the minister to request that fines from each set of average speed cameras are returned to the local authority, until the cost of installation is covered. This money would be protected, to enable us to reinvest it in measures to reduce speeds and make our roads safer.

“By taking action on speeding, and installing concrete measures such as these average speed cameras at 28 sites across the Borough and the Speedwatch van in partnership with the Police we are warning local residents, and visitors to our Borough, against speeding.”

Cllr Sue Oliver, chair of the Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:

“Average speed cameras are proven to be effective in changing the behaviour of inconsiderate and dangerous drivers. Residents are keen to see more of them placed in speeding hotspots around the Borough.

“It is unfair that the Council bears the cost of purchasing and installing the cameras yet the Government pockets the fines which are generated instead of allowing us to reinvest the money in further local traffic calming schemes.”