New cameras set to aid drive for safety on A14

AVERAGE speed cameras are expected to be finally introduced on the A14 in Cambridgeshire in the new year. Following a week in which two multi-vehicle accidents caused serious delays for motorists on the A14, the Highways Agency has confirmed the cameras w

AVERAGE speed cameras are expected to be finally introduced on the A14 in Cambridgeshire in the new year.

Following a week in which two multi-vehicle accidents caused serious delays for motorists on the A14, the Highways Agency has confirmed the cameras will be installed between Spittals and Girton.

According to road safety figures, safety cameras have already played a major role in reducing accident rates on the A14.

It is hoped the addition of the new technology, which uses cameras to measure a vehicle's average speed over set distances, will continue to reduce the number of incidents and cut back on tailgating - the major cause of accidents on the A14, according to police.

The accident rate on the county's stretch of the road, between Hinchingbrooke and Girton, has fallen by 37 per cent since safety cameras were installed in 2003.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said the annual rate of deaths and serious accidents had fallen from 18 to 11. Figures for all incidents between 2002 and 2004 show an annual average of 200 personal injury accidents on that section of the A14.

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A spokesman for the Highways Agency, which this month joined police in patrolling the A14, said the problem was the road's dual role.

"The A14 is of strategic, national importance, linking the Midlands with the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich. Between Alconbury and Cambridge it carries traffic from the north to east London and the Channel ports which mixes with local traffic."

However, July has so far seen no fatal accidents on the county's stretch of the A14 or in the whole of Cambridgeshire.

The county's road safety officer, Pc Mick McCready, said it looked as if, for the first time in years, the county might go for a whole calendar month without a road death. The last one was on June 17 and there are between 60 and 70 deathsin Cambridgeshire each year.

Dr James French, researcher for Magpas, the medics emergency service which attends road accidents in the county, said a third of the seriously injured people on Cambridgeshire's section of the road came from outside the county.

He added: "The road has been a lot safer since the speed cameras."

Both he and Pc McCready said drivers travelled too close to the vehicle in front.

Last Wednesday, three people suffered serious injuries after a seven vehicle pile-up on the A14 brought rush hour traffic to a standstill for more than five hours.

Two men and a woman were taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital after suffering serious injuries in the incident involving six cars and a lorry on the westbound carriageway near Swavesey last Wednesday at 7.20am.

The road was also closed between junction 32 and 31 from Histon to the M11 after two lorries collided just after 9am. There were no injuries.

Motorists on the westbound carriageway were diverted down the A428 where quad bikes were used to transport 400 litres of water to parched motorists.

Last Tuesday at 7.53am there was also a five-vehicle collision on the A14 westbound carriageway near Swavesey. The accident left the carriageway closed down to just one lane.

INFORMATION: Anyone with information about the collisions should contact police on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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