MORE motorists are being caught speeding on the A127 now than when average speed cameras were introduced – but serious accidents are still almost half what they were before they came in.

The cameras, which measure the amount of time it takes a vehicle to travel between two points, were installed along the A127 from the Southend boundary to the Nevendon Interchange in January 2009.

The aim was to reduce the number of accidents resulting in someone being killed or seriously injured (KSI).

Now there are roughly half as many KSIs as before they were introduced, and a Freedom of Information request by the Echo to Essex Police also revealed there were more than 400 more motorists caught in the last 12 months than in the same period five years ago.

South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe said the figures showed the cameras were working - and were a worthwhile investment.

He said: “It’s welcome the A127 is clearly safer than it was before the cameras were introduced, as the whole purpose of this kind of enforcement technology is to prevent people being killed and seriously injured.

“It’s interesting that, despite this, more people are being caught speeding now and I do wonder whether that’s a deliberate non-adherence or whether there are still people unaware of what the speed limit is at certain points and, if that is the case, perhaps better signage is needed.”

The figures showed 2,831 people were caught speeding on the 50mph zone in the last 12 months –up from 2,411 in 2011-12 when the Echo made the same Freedom of Information request – 154 of which paid a fine, 2,013 of which took a speed awareness course, while 97 were prosecuted.

The remainder were pending at the time of the request.

However, although the council has been accused of using speed cameras as a revenue stream, particularly at the notorious Fortune of War roundabout, all revenue from fines on the average speed cameras have been sent straight to the Government since they were introduced.

The result has been a significant reduction in the number of serious and fatal accidents on the stretch.

In 2012, a county council spokesman said KSIs had been reduced by 58 per cent in the first two years of the cameras being in operation, with none of the recorded accidents in that period being fatal.

And, although the number has fluctuated each year since then, the average has remained roughly the same. Prior to the cameras being introduced, the five-year average for KSIs was 10.6 accidents per year, while the average for the five years prior to this year was six.