Shropshire sites being looked at for average speed cameras – but no decision until next year

A decision on the location for average speed cameras in Shropshire is not expected until next year, it has been confirmed.

Councillors Rob Gittins, Kevin Sutherland, and Pete Waters, have all called for increased road safety measures on the A41
Councillors Rob Gittins, Kevin Sutherland, and Pete Waters, have all called for increased road safety measures on the A41

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion confirmed the allocation of £400,000 to set up an average speed camera scheme in Shropshire in September.

It came after calls for increased safety measures on the A41 – one of the county's most dangerous roads.

Since the start of 2017 there have been more than 190 crashes where people were killed or injured on the road between Cosford and Whitchurch.

West Mercia Police's Road Safety department has now confirmed that a group has been set up to look at the best location for the cameras, with a number of authorities involved.

It added that recommendations from the group would be reviewed following the decision.

Shropshire Council, which is involved in the recommendations, and passed a motion earlier this year calling for Mr Campion to introduce average speed cameras on the A41, said discussions were taking place about the plans.

The Shropshire Council motion was led by Cheswardine Councillor Rob Gittins, who said drivers were frequently becoming frustrated on the route, leading to crashes.

Speaking in August he said: "I think people would think twice about overtaking when they know there are average speed cameras about. It would force them to think ‘is it worth six points or three points’ on their licence just to go speeding past a line of traffic.”

Richard Marshall, the authority's cabinet member for highways, added that they were also looking at other sites where cameras could improve road safety.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police Road Safety group said: "A working group has been established to produce a business case outlining recommended locations and potential suitable solutions, ensuring a coordinated approach with all authorities involved. Whilst work is underway, it is still in the early stages of a thorough review and a decision on the recommendations will be made next year.

Councillor Marshall said: "Road safety is vitally important to the council and such cameras are a welcome new option for officers to consider when we are designing road safety projects.

“We are actively speaking to John Campion about possible average speed cameras on the A41, and are considering other sites where cameras would help improve safety for those using Shropshire’s roads.”

Speaking when he announced the money for the project, Mr Campion said: "This funding will ensure West Mercia Police is using the best technology available to carry out policing efficiently.

“Residents and businesses across West Mercia tell me time and time again that roads in their communities need to be safer. I understand residents in Shropshire have raised concerns about the A41, I will continue to work closely with West Mercia Police to make sure they are addressed.”

Last month Shropshire Council confirmed another camera-related road safety measure with the introduction of six 'school street' zones outside primary schools in the county.

The zones will use automatic number plate recognition cameras to issue fines to any drivers within the zone outside the permitted hours.

The initiative is intended to make it safer for youngsters to get to school.

The schools included in the trial are Gobowen Primary School; Market Drayton Junior School; Woodside Primary School, Oswestry; Mereside Primary School, Shrewsbury; Whitchurch Junior School and Castlefields Primary School, Bridgnorth. A trial is already being carried out at Coleham Primary in Shrewsbury.

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