Support for Hawkhurst’s plans to change speed camera criteria

Victoria Truman

Kent’s most vigilant Speedwatch group has called for a rethink on the criteria for installing fixed speed cameras following a meeting with MP Greg Clark and the county’s new Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott.

The Tunbridge Wells MP had invited Mr Scott to a meeting of Hawkhurst Speedwatch on Friday (July 1) to discuss how best to dissuade motorists from speeding through the village.

Hawkhurst Speedwatch has observed the highest proportion of speeders compared to any other Speedwatch scheme in the whole of Kent and would like fixed speed cameras to be installed to act as a deterrent.

During 2014 and 2015, the group recorded 8,453 offences compared with 7,349 for the next highest scheme. Most were driving over 40mph.

Six of the eight highest speeders recorded throughout Kent in 40mph zones were also in Hawkhurst.

Speaking at the event, which was also attended by several county, borough and parish councillors, Mr Clark said it was time to ‘look again’ at where cameras are placed, adding: “At the moment, the criteria for installing speed cameras is based on the number of fatal or serious accidents along a particular stretch of road.

“Speedwatch provides accurate information on where people are regularly breaking the speed limit and I think this also needs to be taken into account.”

Mr Scott said: “I don’t think it is unreasonable for the concerns of local residents, when those concerns are backed up by reliable data, to be used in deciding where fixed speed cameras are placed.

“So, while of course we can’t make any promises at this stage, I will be discussing the existing policy with chief officers at Kent Police and the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership to see whether there is scope for it to be modified.”

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