Beeston road safety activist installs dummy cameras on A1
PUBLISHED: 12:22 03 October 2018
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A grandad who lives next to the A1 in Beeston has been ordered to take down fake cameras he put up to try to deter speeding drivers.
Mike Lacey installed dummy cameras outside his home in High Road to discourage speeding – an initiative he says has worked.
He told the Comet: “This problem with speeding started many years ago. There was a camera up for about six months, but then a storm came through and actually took the camera down, so that was quite short lived.
“Since then we’ve been dealing with speeding all the time. The SG19 Safety Group have been dealing with all the official people – Highways England, the council and the police – and we made a speed watch group for Sandy and Beeston.
“The speed camera on the northbound carriageway was covered about six months ago, and it has given the go ahead for motorists to ignore the speed limit. Nothing appears to have been done by any of the responsible authorities.
“After six months with no solution, I decided to build a speed camera.”
Since installing the fake cameras, Mike has had a visit from a Central Bedfordshire Council planning officer who requested that he remove the camera they had received a complaint from Highways England stating that the cameras were a distraction to drivers.
“Are they saying that their own speed cameras distract drivers?” he said.
“It works. Drivers are actually slowing down and in many cases brake lights are being applied all the way.
“When the officer came down and gave me this news regarding the camera I said the only way it’s coming down is if the authorities come up with a solution to the problem.
“This is not something that’s happened overnight – this problem has been a high priority of ours. We have lots of other safety problems with Sandy and Beeston, nothing seems to be getting done. We keep one getting pushed aside.
“My driveway is 90 degrees to the A1, and I have to pull onto the road with vehicles moving anything up to 70mph.
“Some of them are large lorries – when you pull out and look in your rear-view mirror to see a 42-tonne lorry coming closer to you, it’s not funny.”
A Highways England spokesman said: “We are committed to tackling unsafe driving on the A1, including speeding. The speed camera on the northbound A1 is not in operation at the moment, so has been covered over.
“We are designing a replacement system, which will encourage better compliance with the speed limit, and in the meantime the police can use mobile speed enforcement vans.
“While we acknowledge Mr Lacey’s commitment to safety, we cannot support the use of dummy cameras like this.”
The authority added that, if in the wrong position, the cameras could cause drivers to brake suddenly, causing a crash hazard.