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Speed cameras nab thousands in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 10:10 27 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:58 27 October 2010

The Dereham Road speed camera, which caught more than 1600 speeders.

The Dereham Road speed camera, which caught more than 1600 speeders.

Norwich’s snappiest speed camera nabbed more than 1,600 drivers last year.

As police and county council officials thrash out a last ditch deal to keep the cameras from being switched off to save money, the Evening News can reveal more than 11,000 drivers were caught speeding on Norfolk’s roads last year - the mnajority of them in the city.

Figures obtained using Freedom of Information laws, show the camera on Dereham Road, between Norwich Road and Marlpit Lane, in pole position.

Norfolk police said it detected 1614 offences, closely followed by cameras on the A1046 Ipswich Road (1489), Grapes Hill (1354), the A1074 Dereham Road near Cadge Road (1318) and Drayton Road (1143).

Outside the city cameras on the A149 at Heacham and the A148 at Bale dids not catch a single driver in 2009, while a camera on the A1067 at Taverham managed just one.

Cameras on the A148 at Little Snoring (48), the A146 at Thurton (77) and the B1332 at Poringland (80) fared slightly better.

And the highest tallies away from Norwich were on the A1078 Gayton Road, near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, which managed 535,and the A143 Beccles Road, in Bradwell, where the camera went off 776 times.

Norfolk’s speed cameras are operated by a partnership between the police, county council and Highways Agency.

Stuart Hallett, partnerships and policy manager with the county council, said: “The purpose behind any safety camera here is not to catch anyone but to act as a deterrent. The ideal camera is one that never flashes.

“If you look at the 1,400 people caught on Ipswich Road, the reason behind that is we had an awful lot of students at that site, there were a lot of people being injured, scooter riders and cyclists, which is why a camnera went in there.”

Mr Hallett said some of the county’s busier cameras were permanently in operation, 24/7. The most modern versions beam information direct to police via the internet.

But while there are camera housings in 24 locations around the county, not all contain a camera at any given point.

Accidents have reduced since traffic lights installed at the Lavender Hill junction, on the A149 coast road at Heacham, near Hunstanton, four years ago.

“The camera which was there because of the problem with the cross roads is just sitting there while we carry out an evaluation of the site,” said Mr Hallett

In total 11,252 drivers were caught by the county’s 22 speed cameras, half receiving the standard £60 fixed penalty notice and three points on their licence.

Half were given the option of paying a slightly higher fine and giving up a day to attend a speeding awareness course as an alternative to having their licences endorsed.

The future of Norfolk’s cameras is being reviewed by police and county council as both look to make savings.

Councillors have already voted in principle to switch off the cameras, after hearing fatalities in the Norwich area have fallen by 27pc over the lkast two years.

Campaigners claim deaths and injuries will rise if the cameras go from hotspots. Police are considering whether to take over the network.

What do you think of speed cameras? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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