Thumbs down for A14 cameras

AS a regular driver of a motorcycle and car on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, I can t see that average speed cameras will reduce my chances of being involved in an accident. I have escaped death on at least four occasions when lorries have pul

AS a regular driver of a motorcycle and car on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, I can't see that average speed cameras will reduce my chances of being involved in an accident.

I have escaped death on at least four occasions when lorries have pulled out as I was about to overtake them. When they try to overtake each other, they cause queues of bunched up vehicles behind them, setting up tailgating situations. They pull out of lay-bys slowly in front of oncoming traffic and are usually involved in slip-road collisions. They probably do the job of speed cameras by restricting the maximum traffic speed to less than 60mph.

I would suggest that restricting lorries to the nearside lane for this stretch of the A14 would save my life and cost nothing. Would an expert please enlighten me why this has not been done?

The other main cause of accidents is tailgating at any speed. On parts of the M6 there are chevrons that indicate safe vehicle spacing. Rigorously enforced, tailgating would be no more. Just needs white paint and a brush, not expensive cameras. In the meantime I will accelerate to overtake killer lorries before they pull out and then slow down to reduce my average speed. It's a mad, mad world and safer by air.


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Hope this is of interest to the Highways boys and girls.

DENNIS H SKINNER, Horseshoes Way, Brampton

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* WHAT a waste of money (Average speed cameras, January 24). Surely, anybody managing to obtain an average of the maximum speed limit on the A14 should be awarded a certificate of merit.

NICK ATKINSON, Dovehouse Close, Godmanchester

* REGARDING the use of the time and distance speed/"safety" cameras on the A14, I was involved in the eastbound accident on Monday morning, January 22. The speed at which the accident occurred was less than 50mph. As one of your sources pointed out (The Hunts Post, January 24), during peak periods it is unlikely that you can reach the national speed limit. Hence, the camera scheme is a pointless waste of money.

There are only three ways that I can see to reduce accidents on this stretch of road, particularly during peak periods: widen the road or build a relief road; enforce a lower speed limit, say 50mph maximum; or educate drivers on road etiquette, achievable by retaking of driving test, say at five-year intervals.

It may be that a combination of the above may reduce the accident toll and serve to keep the traffic flowing.

JUSTIN BARKER, Baird Close, Yaxley

* I SPEAK from experience as a firefighter at Huntingdon fire station that installation of cameras to measure average speed will not totally eradicate the accident toll experienced on this busy road.

It is true that speed is an important issue but, in the case of the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, the main issue seems to be the huge volume of traffic trying to move along a restricted space and consequently driving much too close to the vehicles in front.

Vehicles essentially fight for space constantly on their journey and in doing so lose sight of the inherent dangers associated with moving close together, albeit at a low speed.

I was part of the crew in first attendance with the lorry incident featured on your front page (January 24), and you will notice the heavy impact suffered on that vehicle as a direct result of the type of driving style encountered every day on this road.

* If more freight were sent by rail instead of road and the old railway line were opened up between Huntingdon and

Cambridge, maybe the traffic volume would be reduced.

I do not know how much it is costing to install these cameras, but this approach looks to me to be misguided.

PAUL BURGESS, Ouse Walk, Huntingdon

* IF the new speed cameras being installed on the A14 will work on a similar principle to those situated between Fenstanton and Trinity Foot - they recognise the front not rear registration plates - they will not pick up speeding motorcycles. This will mean that motorcyclists, whose bikes have only rear number plates, will be free to travel at whatever speed they like. They will not even need to change lanes to avoid being caught. Is this a bias against four-and-more-wheel vehicle drivers?

ANTHONY BARRACLOUGH, Burleigh Road, St Ives

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