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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Cameras 'to replace London humps'
Speed camera
Speed cameras could mean the end of the road for some humps
Motorists could see hundreds of speed cameras cropping up across London, according to reports of a leaked paper.

The Evening Standard says cameras would replace speed humps which are unpopular with emergency services drivers.

It claims the plans will feature in Ken Livingstone's mayoral re-election bid after they appeared in a paper prepared by Labour London Assembly members.

The cameras would be used to enforce a 20mph lower speed limit for all London residential zones, the paper says.

Safety first?

While the proposals could raise thousands of pounds in extra fines, motorists' groups say cameras in side streets could be opposed by residents.

Government policy is to only place cameras in accident blackspots.

In the long term, we support a move towards camera-based enforcement of speed limits
Leaked 'Labour's Agenda 2004-2008'
Ministers claim the purpose of safety cameras is to encourage drivers to stay within the speed limit and not to raise cash.

There are already 400 speed cameras across the capital and more than 6,000 across the country.

Mr Livingstone has said there should be more cameras "in every residential neighbourhood" to enforce speed limits.

'Clobbering' residents

That the proposal was reportedly included in the Labour Assembly group document suggests it is likely to become party policy.

Another week and yet another example of the anti-car agenda being pursued by the mayor and his Labour party in City Hall
Brian Coleman
London Assembly Conservatives

The paper, Labour's Agenda 2004-2008, says: "The use of well designed and placed road humps remains a useful tool in improving road safety, but in the long term, we support a move towards camera-based enforcement of speed limits.

"We will investigate the feasibility of introducing additional speed cameras on main roads and at junctions.

"Labour will support a reduction of the speed limit in residential areas, and around schools and hospitals, to 20mph."

'Revenue raiser'

Brian Coleman, deputy leader of the London Assembly Conservatives, says the speed camera plans will mean residents "getting clobbered all the time by fines".

"This is a version of the congestion charge for the suburbs and is merely a revenue raiser to fill the gaping hole at the heart of the Transport for London budget," he said.

"Another week and yet another example of the anti-car agenda being pursued by the mayor and his Labour party in City Hall."

Meanwhile, London Assembly's transport committee says research has proved that speed humps have been successful in reducing vehicle speed, improving road safety and saving lives.

However, it has made a number of recommendations that could lead to a reduction in the number of humps.

Damage

The committee says the Department for Transport should make it possible for London boroughs to set up local pilot schemes to use speed cameras to enforce 20mph zones instead of speed humps.

It has also called for studies into the levels of noise generated by humps.

The committee's report claims humps in London caused 7,500 damage to Metropolitan Police vehicles over a three month period.

Some residents have complained about the noise from vehicles going over them, while emergency services are concerned about slow response times to incidents because of the humps, the report says.

The Tory-controlled London borough of Barnet has removed its humps, prompting Mr Livingstone to withhold 1.5m funding in protest.

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA Motoring Trust, said: "Too often, humps are seen as a panacea for all ills."




SEE ALSO:
Police target speeding motorists
01 Apr 04  |  Scotland
Speeders to view offence online
29 Mar 04  |  Wiltshire


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