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Speed cameras back in Black Country a year after switch off

Dudley | News | Published:

Speed cameras are back in the Black Country – a year after they were switched off.

Dudley Council has unveiled five new cameras – and will pay the £15,000 bill for installation and maintenance.

The cameras are positioned in Stourbridge, Gornal Wood, Quarry Bank and Halesowen. It comes after fixed speed cameras in the West Midlands were turned off last year in a cost-cutting move.

But today, council chiefs said they had put new cameras in place in response to 'long-standing requests' from communities.

One of the new cameras is on a 50mph stretch of the Manor Way dual carriageway in Halesowen, where Tipton motorcyclist Nick Foster died in a crash last June.

John Millar, Dudley Council's director for urban environment, said: "The new units at Thorns Road, Quarry Bank; Manor Way, Halesowen; Coopers Bank Road, Gornal Wood; Oldnall Road, Stourbridge and Grange Road, Stourbridge, are in response to long-standing requests from the community for speeding deterrents.

"The units cost around £3,000 each to install and maintain set against 2014 Department for Transport figures which show the average cost of a serious accident is more than £210,000."

He said West Midlands Police would continue to deal with enforcement. The cameras were all introduced within the past two weeks.

There are 305 cameras across the West Midlands. Last April, the 73 remaining active cameras were switched off by the West Midlands Road Safety Partnership.

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The decision was made after West Midlands Police said it could no longer afford the £1m a year running costs due to budget cuts. Instead, the number of mobile van cameras on the region's roads doubled to four.

But concerns continued to be raised about the speed of drivers in areas such as Manor Way. Members from Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club voiced worries over the dangers of trying to pull out and cross the road.

Insp Dez Lambert, from Dudley Police, today

said: "We have long been aware of the speed of some motorists coming down Manor Way from the motorway. If the new camera reduces casualties on the road we, of course, welcome it."

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Sgt Martin Hall, of Halesowen North neighbourhood team, regularly runs speed checks on the road, catching drivers going at speeds of up to 82mph on a 40mph stretch.

He said: "We have already noticed the speed camera helping to reduce the speed of cars on the road."

Walsall and Sandwell councils have no current plans to install their own cameras.

The move by Dudley Council comes as Birmingham and Solihull councils draw up a trial scheme for 12 fixed cameras.

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