Cameras catch 50 drivers a day speeding in Harborough village

Cllr Blake Pain
Cllr Blake Pain

More than 1,500 people have been caught speeding through a Harborough district village in just a month.

The figure means that more than 50 people a day are breaking the law in the village of Walcote, on the A4304 between Market Harborough and Lutterworth, near junction 20 on the M1.

“I’m very surprised that so many people are speeding even with the average speed cameras there” said Lindsey Astle of Misterton with Walcote parish council.

“But on the whole, the traffic through the village is significantly slower, and I haven’t heard of anyone from the village who isn’t pleased at the difference.”

Walcote was chosen by Leicestershire County 
Council as one of three sites across the county to trial average speed enforcement cameras.

The other two sites are Sharnford near Hinckley and Measham, near Ashby.

The move is the first part of a year-long trial for cameras on ‘key routes’ in the county, to discourage motorists from speeding.

The 1,513 speeding motorist through Walcote were recorded between September 15 and October 15 this year.

But Cllr Blake Pain (pictured with one of the average speed cameras), the county council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said the cameras were primarily about keeping villagers safe, rather than catching motorists.

He said: “Of the 600,000 vehicles passing camera sites in Sharnford, Walcote and Measham over a time period from September 15 to October 15, 0.78 per cent of the vehicles have been issued with 
notices.

“The trial isn’t about catching and fining motorists for speeding – we want people to stick to the speed limits.

“We hope that these cameras will stop people from speeding, as it endangers the lives of other road users and pedestrians.”

The average speed cameras were welcomed from the start by Walcote villagers.

Lindsey Astle said speeding traffic had made it difficult for local vehicles turning on to the busy A-road, and for children who had to cross the road to catch buses to schools in Lutterworth.

She added: “We’re the first village after the motorway, it’s downhill into the village, and many motorists just don’t get their speed under control.”

The county’s speed enforcement trial will cost around £500,000, funded by the county council.

Following the trial, the authority would then look to widen out the camera programme.

That depends on whether the government agrees to a county council bid to 
keep some of the money generated by the cameras, to put back into future road safety projects.