Council workers caught out by newly installed speed camera
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Council workers were caught out by a speed camera that snapped thousands of drivers in the first week of it being switched on.
The activation of the speed camera in Cardiff opposite the Excelsior Road junction on Western Avenue on June 26, was heavily criticised by drivers, who called for clearer signage on the road indicating that the speed limit there is 30mph.
Cardiff Council’s cabinet member for climate change, Cllr Caro Wild, said the council has received a total of 38 notices of intended prosecution (NIP) for alleged speeding offences by drivers of council vehicles at the Western Avenue speed camera junction since June 1.
Conservative council member, Cllr Sean Driscoll, asked for the figure at a full council meeting on Thursday November 26.
A freedom of information (FOI) request made to South Wales Police (SWP) found that 4,293 Notices of Intended Prosecution (NIPs) were issued to drivers who were caught driving over 30mph on Western Avenue from the day the camera was activated, on June 26, to July 3.
By July 3, a 30mph speed limit sign had been attached to the speed camera which is located opposite the Excelsior Road junction.
The FOI also also found that 623 NIPs were issued during the week following this sign having been installed (July 4 to July 11).
Cllr Driscoll said at last week’s full council meeting: “This clearly shows that if the vast majority of drivers were alerted to the changes, less people would have been fined, including possibly some of our hard pressed staff.
“Do you agree that additional signage and information could have saved people an awful lot of stress and money which they can ill afford?”
In response to Cllr Driscoll’s follow up question, Cllr Wild said: “I am going to have to defer… this is one for highways and technical experts.
“I am not going to get into whether the signage is correct… that is for them to do. [I] am happy to raise that as I am sure you have done yourself.”
Western Avenue has been a 30mph zone since 2021 and there is a red warning sign on the bridge before the speed camera stating the change.
However, many people at the time the speed camera was activated argued this sign was not clear enough and that its bilingual format made it difficult for drivers to read as they drove past.
At the time of the FOI findings, Cardiff Council said motorists should know that street lighting indicates a 30mph zone is in place and that this is something which is contained in the Highway Code.
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