North Yorkshire and York’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott has told members of North Yorkshire County Council’s Selby constituency committee that he was “horrified” by the 40mph limit in Hemingborough and called on the authority to cut maximum speed in numerous other villages to 30mph.
Mr Allott was speaking days after the county council’s executive member for highways Councillor Don Mackenzie restated the authority’s opposition to fixed speed cameras, saying he would rather see average speed cameras as they would be more effective in making drivers comply with the limit.
Coun Mackenzie said: “I think it is a better idea than fixed speed cameras because when people get to know where they are they simply slow down near the camera and speed up afterwards. They are not a particularly good deterrent for people who know the area.”
However, when pressed by several Selby area councillors over how he intended to improve speeding enforcement, Mr Allott said the current regime of 12 mobile speed camera vans and two camera motorbikes was “not fit for purpose”.
Councillor Mike Jordan said he had no issue driving past 20 fixed speed cameras on his way to work and called on the commissioner to have a look at North Yorkshire’s policy of having no fixed speed cameras as it would free the force’s speed camera vans for targeted work.
Mr Allott replied he was supportive of fixed speed cameras in certain locations, but a business case needed to be created alongside a decision as to who should fund them.
He said the force may not be able to fund fixed speed cameras, but they could be funded by the county council and his office.
Mr Allott said: “I can only do these things if councillors want it. There is a mixed view on this and I have to respect everybody’s view on it. We will come back with recommendations from an academic institute about how we better enforce speed within the county, but it will need a political will by councillors to support that initiative.”
Mr Allott said the speed limit on some roads was too high, and said his call to the council to lower the 40mph limit on the A63 through Hemingborough was rejected as groundless, despite having witnessed an incident involving a group of people crossing the road to a children’s playground.
He told councillors: “I’m so concerned about it, somebody’s going to get killed. I nearly got killed when that van stopped and the heavy goods vehicle went into the back of it. But I have to say it’s a two-way street.
I’ll do whatever I can to enforce things for you, but county has to buy in that some of these roads at 40 are not safe in villages and should be reduced to 30. If traffic has to go a bit slower and it’s main artery to go somewhere, so what. If I save a life through that or a few lives and I’ve made the traffic go a bit slower I don’t care.”