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5,300 drivers caught speeding per year on A358 into Henlade
9:20am Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
CONCERNED magistrates have intervened after it emerged 100 motorists a week are caught speeding on a busy road on the outskirts of Taunton which many are unaware is a 30mph zone.
A staggering 5,336 drivers – over 14 per day – were filmed by mobile police cameras speeding in the year to the end of April on the A358 dual carriageway near the park and ride.
To date, 2,542 have been successfully prosecuted at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court, with fines totalling £152,250 going to the Treasury.
County councillor David Fothergill said the problem is caused by 30mph signs on the roads approaching the M5 roundabout, which are not repeated but are still in force when traffic joins the A358 into Henlade.
Mr Fothergill said: “It’s clear that since the park and ride was built, something’s seriously wrong.
“The problem is clearly not a lack of enforcement, but apparent low awareness of the speed limit by drivers.”
Legislation means 30mph signs can only be installed at the start of a speed limit zone – so if drivers miss a sign, they remain unaware of the limit.
Mr Fothergill wants the limit increased to 40mph from the roundabout to Henlade to allow more signs and painted warnings on the road surface.
Lesley Mackay, chairman of the bench at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court, said: “We’re aware of concerns over the speed signage at Henlade.
“While we know the signage is legal, after working with police and the traffic team at County Hall, we understand a consultation period is to take place during the coming months about increasing the speed limit.
“In the meantime, motorists are advised to observe the current 30mph limit.”
Martin Davies, who was caught doing 40mph, said: “I was unaware of the 30mph limit.
“I got a £60 fine and three points and my insurance goes up.”
Harvey Siggs, cabinet member for highways, said “a number of small measures”
would probably be taken to solve the problem, adding: “But the most challenging thing is changing motorists’ behaviour.”