A speed camera warning sign seen in Woking — or should that be ?
Let's hope the clowns responsible for this, installed the speed cameras with the same degree of competence.
Surrey County Council puts roads first
Surrey County Council has acknowledged the prime importance of the counties roads
by establishing a new dedicated service to look after them. The Surrey Highway Service.
The announcements was contained in a comprehensive report outlining the county's plane for 2007-8. The plan details how more than £52 million will be spent on the highways over the coming year.
Potholes and other road defects, will see over £15 million spent on them as part of the overall maintenance programme. A further £1.4 million will be allocated to footpath improvements.
In another move to improving response is the introduction of Community Highway Officers who will work alongside county councillors, parish councils, residents associations and members of the public to identify what needs doing and increase the capacity to get it done.
In addition to the above, and thanks to a donation from the High Sheriff of Surrey, Mr Adrian White, a major initiative will see around 100 locations benefiting from Vehicle Activated Signs. Andy Roberts, the county councils Strategic Director with responsibility for transportation, said, it is known that these signs are a successful means of ensuring road safety, they are popular, less intrusive than physical obstacles like road humps and rely on reminding drivers about the speed limits rather than prosecuting them.
All in all, its good news, road accidents down and more money being spent on the roads. No doubt we will see some less favourable news for motorists during the coming months but at least we seem to be getting off to a good start.
Source: National Statistics — Road Casualties in Great Britain.
See also PR492 re hospital admission figures.
Surrey Speed Cameras Have Not Saved One Life
The ABD has obtained statistics from Surrey County Council for the twenty speed cameras in the county for which information has been recorded.
Countywide there was just one fatality over all the camera sites in the four years prior to camera installation. In the four years following installation also, only one fatality was recorded at camera sites countywide.
Only fifteen serious injuries occured over all twenty sites prior to installation, falling to nine afterwards.
This clearly demonstrates that Surrey are placing their cameras on roads where there are not serious problems, some sites had no serious injuries, only one had a fatality, very few had more than one serious injury.
The fall from 15 to 9 in serious injuries over an eight year period, apart from being a drop in the ocean compared to the 4800 seriously injured during that period, cannot be attributed to cameras alone. The most successful cameras were introduced together with other measures (road engineering, adjusted limits etc) and improved car safety features would have been influential.
Some of Surrey's cameras recorded an increase in serious injuries and there was a fatality where one had not occurred before, others recorded no improvement yet they are all still flashing away, raking in cash and removing driver's livelihoods, many deliberately hidden by trees and signs.
Surrey is one of the few police forces which has not joined the government's cash for cameras scam — because their own research shows that cameras cause more accidents than they prevent (Daily Telegraph 25 Sep 2002).
On 24th February 2003 Surrey County Council closed the B2038 Pixham Lane to through traffic (except Buses & emergency vehicles) based on pressure from a few influential local residents and the support of a Liberal Democrat County Councillor.
Since the closure of this road and the narrowing of access to a main arterial roundabout at the junction of the A24 and A25, total gridlock now blights Dorking at peak times. Queues now form for many miles north on the A24 and east on the A25 as traffic is forced to use the truncated roundabout.
There have been an estimated 500–1000 letters of protest to the local highways manager Mr Archer Reeves and the local paper has had to increase its letters page to two broadsheet sized pages to accommodate the public furore that has ensued.
This 'experimental' closure of the B2038 has cost between £40,000 (SCC published figure) and £59,000 (SCC internal figure) to install, with the rising bollard regularly malfunctioning and causing confusion to road users.
Unjam Dorking is a pressure group formed from the key business organisations who have seen their members financial position decimated by the fall-off in trade since the closure of this road and narrowing of the roundabout access. They are seeking answers to the following:-
1. Why the initial consultation was limited to a few residents, rather than the town as a whole via the Town Forum etc?
2. Why a Liberal Democrat Councillor was so instrumental in seeking for this legitimate B road to be closed.
3. Why the three month experimental period was extended to 12 months with no further consultation.
4. Why the unprecedented public outrage over the closure has largely been ignored and dismissed as 'trivial' by the transport manager.
5. Why an alleged £59,000 of public money was spend on an experiment, that even out the outset was considered flawed.
6. Why Officers are now recommending a peak time opening of the road which negates any reasons they had in closing it originally.
Unjam Dorking, c/o 90 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1AY
Tel/Fax: 01306 881655 Email: unjam(at)visitdorking.com
Un-Jam Dorking represents: West Street Association, Dorking Traders Association, Dorking Chamber of Commerce, South Street Traders, Federation of Small Businesses, Dorking Town Management, Dorking Business Breakfast Group.
At a local council meeting on 23rd July, attended by members of the public, a motion was carried (9 to 1) to re-open Pixham Lane.
The whole exercise has cost the local council some £64,000 and this just covers the cost of closure and the estimated cost of re-opening the road. It does not cover the cost of the time spent, the cost of various surveys, consultants fees etc etc.
It is most re-assuring that the voice of the people can still be heard and taken notice of providing they shout hard & long enough!
Elsewhere on the ABD website: