Sheffield speed camera ‘is not a money-maker’ – chief

The speed camera on Sheffield Parkway, where almost 15,000 offences were detected in three years
The speed camera on Sheffield Parkway, where almost 15,000 offences were detected in three years
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This is the speed camera in Sheffield which caught almost 15,000 motorists in three years.

Motorists say the camera on the A57 Sheffield Parkway is a ‘money making scheme’ as figures show it has one of the country’s highest offence detection rates.

A police chief has defended the use of a controversial Sheffield speed camera which caught 15,000 motorists in three years.

Drivers have questioned whether the camera on the A57 Sheffield Parkway was needed and if it was a ‘money-making scheme’ after new figures showed it had snapped the ninth-highest number of motorists of any camera in the country.

But Chief Inspector Stuart Walne, head of roads policing for South Yorkshire Police, said there were collisions in the area as people changed between lanes and came in at speed – although he said there had been no recent fatalities there.

He added: “This is the major arterial route into one of the biggest cities in the country – 30,000 cars go through there every day just in one direction and when you break down these figures, 15 people get a speeding ticket every day.

“It is a minority.”

Money raised through speeding fines goes to the Government, and when speed awareness courses are undertaken an administration fee paid to the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is used for education or speed awareness work.

Chf Insp Walne added that the cost of investigating a single road fatality would dwarf any fine charge.

He said: “This really isn’t about money making - it is about trying to stop people using speed irresponsibly and causing collisions.

“It’s not an area which has had a recent fatality but it has had injury accidents, although that is reducing.”

The camera is positioned where the speed limit changes from 50 to 40mph.

If each of the 14,955 drivers caught between 2010 and 2012 was fined £60, total fines would be £897,300.

But some offences are dealt with by other means, or waived for emergency vehicles.

Rob Prior, of Sheffield Motorists’ Forum, said: “I think with the changes in the road layout it is still required now, however I would say over the next two to three months it should be removed.”

* Andrew Garton, 45, shop assistant from Dronfield

“I think it is just a money-making scheme. That one on the Parkway could be removed. 
“There are traffic lights there anyway to slow you down.”

* Tom Lawrie, 19, a student from the city centre

“Speed cameras are necessary. They keep down speeding .
“They are definitely needed in residental areas and places where there are kids but in other places they are just to catch people out.”

* Matthew Cookson, 25, employment consultant from Walkley

“I think people are finding speed cameras are springing up everywhere. If it was explained how many accidents there were at sites it would be better.”