South West Wales

New 50mph cameras catch 7,000 speeding on M4 in Port Talbot

Port Talbot M4 traffic
Image caption The number of offences have averaged 50 a day since the cameras were introduced

About 7,000 motorists have been caught speeding on the M4 in Port Talbot since a new average speed camera system was introduced.

Figures show more than 2,000 offences were recorded in February alone since the 50mph cameras went live in January.

Motorists are thought to have paid out more than half a million pounds in fines during the past six months.

Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership GoSafe emphasised it was not a money-making venture.

Some 6,964 offences were recorded along the stretch of M4 from 1 January to 3 June 2015.

Motorists caught speeding were initially sent a cautionary letter, but from 19 January the usual speeding sanctions were enforced such as fines, court action and speed awareness courses.

'Road safety'

Chris Hume, partnership manager at GoSafe, told BBC Radio Wales' Jason Mohammad programme the number of offences averaged 50 a day - a "small proportion" of the 75,000 vehicles that use the road every day.

And he said detecting speed and road safety was not about money raising.

"The money doesn't come to us. Central government, who do take the money in terms of fines, have no impact in terms of where we put cameras... that's down to us," he said.

"It's a 50mph limit because the road itself is a very difficult road to go along. It was built in the 1960s. It was built as a by-pass.

"It's really difficult to see when people are coming on to the motorway and therefore there's quite a bit of sudden braking or accelerating... and because of that it's an area that we have to be very cautious of."

Claire Armstrong, from Safe Speed which campaigns against the use of speed cameras, claimed they could cause an accident.

"Speed cameras have never been proved to reduce speeds, the courses have no proof that they make drivers drive better, and it's taking money back with those grants, back to the people who are funding the speed cameras, so that they can produce more speed cameras," she said.

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