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A127 speed camera is in country's top ten earners
6:50am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A SPEED camera on the A127 is one of the top ten earning devices in the country, new figures have revealed.
The camera on the London-bound track of the Fortune of War at Laindon – where the legal limit is 40mph – snared 20,498 speeding motorists in the last three years, raking in £1,229,880 in fines.
That means an average of nearly 6,832 drivers a year, or just over 18 a day, have been hit with £60 fines and three points on their licence after speeding past the camera.
The camera ranks fifth out of the top ten highest grossing permanent cameras across England and Wales.
A device on the M60 motorway near Stockport was the top earning, raking in £1,932,300 after snaring 32,205; a camera on the A4042 in Newport ranked second with 23,582 motorists caught and £1,414,920 earnt in fines; and a device on the A2034 in Southampton came third after fining 21,792 drivers £1,307,520.
Kerry Smith, Ukip’s county councillor for Westley Heights, said the A127 camera was a “cash cow”. He said: “The camera isn’t doing what it is supposed to do.
“What happens is people see the camera and start whacking on the brakes.
But once they are past it, the foot goes on the pedal and they tear off.”
Mr Kerry called for money earnt from the camera to be ploughed back into the budget of the local highways panel in Basildon.
There are 12 local highways panels in each of the county’s boroughs and district which set priorities and make recommendations for schemes in their area, including those around road safety.
According to Essex Highways, cameras on both sides of the A127 at the Fortune of War were put in place to cut the number of lorries overturning on the junction, A spokesman said: “Essex County Council is satisfied these cameras are meeting this objective."
The spokesman said of motorists snared by the camera in the last three years, about 40 per cent would have been emergency vehicles, which would be exempt from prosecution. The actual number of speeding drivers would, therefore, be “significantly reduced’’.
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