Cambridgeshire

Cambridge's £17,000 guided busway speed camera 'unused'

Camera being used on Cambridgeshire guided busway
Image caption A Freedom of Information request found that the portable camera has never been used

A £17,000 camera bought to prevent speeding on a guided busway has never been used, it has emerged.

The portable device was bought by Cambridgeshire County Council in August after three speed-related crashes in two years.

It had promised to enforce tougher limits on the £150m busway.

The council said the portable camera had not been needed because it had no evidence of speeding since fixed cameras were put on parts of the route.

The 16-mile (22km) guided busway, which connects Huntingdon to Cambridge, opened in 2011.

Image caption Five passengers were injured in this busway crash in February 2016

The camera was purchased after concerns over speeding in a 15mph section near Cambridge's main railway station.

Three bus drivers have been sacked over the past couple of years, following a crash in Cambridge, injuries to passengers in Trumpington and another incident in Trumpington, where no passengers were on board.

Using her own speed gun, Cambridge city councillor Zoe O'Connell found that 95% of buses were travelling at double the speed limit during spot checks in June and again this month.

Image caption City councillor Zoe O'Connell bought her own speed camera to monitor the busway

However, when she submitted a Freedom of Information Act request asking about the council's new £17,000 camera, she was told it had "not yet been utilised".

A spokesman for the county council said checks were carried out "using different types of speed recording devices".

"Since cameras were installed along the Trumpington route, we haven't recorded any evidence of speeding therefore the portable camera hasn't been needed," he said.

Ms O'Connell said she was "shocked" the council seemed to have "forgotten" it had bought the kit.

Some of the fixed cameras installed by the council were "about a mile" away from the station section and it was "blind luck that none of the crashes have hit someone", she said.

The council said it plans to install extra cameras at Hills Road bridge, near the railway station.

Image caption Cambridgeshire's guided busway is the longest of its kind in the world

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