Figures reveal 84% of West Sussex speed cameras not in use

In March, 84 per cent of fixed speed cameras in West Sussex were not in use
In March, 84 per cent of fixed speed cameras in West Sussex were not in use

Figures have revealed that 84 per cent of fixed speed cameras in West Sussex are not in use – but money from speeding fines has increased by 35 per cent in the last four years.

Data released by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership showed that in March, only five of the 31 fixed speed camera housings in West Sussex were active – only 16 per cent. This does not take into account mobile cameras.

David Wakefield, coordinator of Worthing Community Speedwatch, said it highlighted the ‘horrific’ speeding problem in the area, but believed the presence of the vacant camera housings still helped to control the issue.

He said: “I think for the majority of motorists they are a deterrent, but there will always be those who know the routine and therefore ignore them.

“If you can’t behave on the roads, get rid of your vehicle and get a bus.”

A Sussex Safer Roads Partnership spokesman explained that there are only a finite number of cameras in the county which are rotated between housings.

David Wakefield, coordinator of Worthing Community Speedwatch. Photo by Derek Martin

David Wakefield, coordinator of Worthing Community Speedwatch. Photo by Derek Martin

The number of active housings can fluctuate if conversion work needs to be undertaken as technology is upgraded, or if there is a telecoms fault at a housing or in a certain location.

Electrical supply issues at speed enforcement sites can also affect this figure, as well as vandalism or other damage to camera housings and changes in speed limit.

The news comes as it was revealed that £1,992,400 was collected in speeding fines in Sussex from February 2016 to February 2017.

This is over a third more than the £1,468,700 gathered in the same period in 2013 and 2014 – and equates to £5,459 on average a day.

Mr Wakefield, of Goldsmith Road in Worthing, believed the figure had increased due to higher levels of young drivers and added that ‘cars are far too easy to get hold of’.

He said: “Young people are full of enthusiasm and get carried away. It’s alright blaming the older generation, but in effect it is the youngsters that cause the problems.”

However, the latest figures are almost two per cent less than February 2015 to 2016, when £2,029,800 was paid in fines – £146,483 on average a month, and £5,561 a day.

This figure is set to skyrocket as the Government introduced harsher speeding fines in April.

To join your local Speedwatch group, visit communityspeedwatch.co.uk.