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UK Road Sense, Dorset Way / A3049 50 limit






FOI RESPONSES, 29 July 2010

I've now had responses to my FOI requests about the Northbound camera, and the "community concern"

The Northbound camera has indeed not been used for prosecutions, but no clues are given as to whether this will continue.

The community concern response is unbelievable!!!

 “The DSCP receives numerous speed complaints from communities or individuals travelling routes in Dorset and there have been many such emails concerning Hole’s Bay prior to the installation of the cameras.”

So no numbers, and no indication that the Holes Bay is worse than anywhere else. Then, just 4, yes, that’s four, complaint emails are quoted (one a year). But it's not clear that these were about the main Holes Bay road (now 50 limit), or the area directly targeted by the speed on green cameras (30 limit).

I think one of those complaints about the main (50 limit) Holes Bay was from me. I’m amazed there aren’t more. It’s often used as a racetrack, and this does like many other roads need a proper solution, and guess what, that means properly enforcing the original 70 limit. But this has got NOTHING to do with the speed on green 30 enforcement at the junction.

Here was an opportunity for the DSCP to show us just how concerned we are about the speed at the junction and how we really wanted this camera. I can not imagine a more spectacular failure.

But I’m giving them YET ANOTHER chance to justify this operation. I’ve made it clear (again) I want number of complaints, and only those relating to the 30 limit directly targeted by the speed on green cameras.

Full text of the FOI responses and my reply are below: 


Response on Northbound Camera:

Dear Mr Belchamber,

Serial Number: 0001/07/10 (Please quote this reference in future correspondence regarding this submission).

 Thank you for your email of 5 July 2010 concerning the A350 Hole's Bay, Poole, Dorset.

The number 0 (zero) for NIPs issued by the north bound camera is correct.

The reason that the north bound camera has so far recorded zero offences is as follows:

The installation or change of the function of any camera is publicised and on occasion it may be deemed suitable to continue to monitor offences to ascertain the “deterrent” factor before prosecutions take place.  As you are aware the south bound camera was in place on 1 Jul 2009 but did not begin the prosecution process until 22 November 2009.  Currently at Hole’s Bay the south bound camera is prosecuting traffic exceeding the threshold heading into POOLE whilst the north bound camera is monitoring the speed of vehicles exiting POOLE.  Cameras can be switched from “prosecuting” to “monitoring” and “acting as a deterrent” dependent on traffic volumes compared to the number of drivers committing offences.

You will now find a FAQ section regarding Hole’s Bay on the website at www.dorsetsafetycameras.org.uk.

<snip boring stuff about FOI> 

In several of your emails or comments on your website we have noted that you raise issue over the 20 working days permitted for response to any question presented.  I would like to take the opportunity to clarify the Act and advise you that any FOI request arriving in this office is dealt with in the order it was received.  The FOI Act does not grant any requestor priority over another.  FOI requests received in this office are ALL dealt with methodically and within the 20 working days permitted under the Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office has a very comprehensive website that you may wish to access to verify these points which can be found at www.ico.gov.uk

 

I hope that answers your query.


Response on Community concern:

Dear Mr Belchamber,

Serial Number: 0004/07/10 (Please quote this reference in future correspondence regarding this submission).

Thank you for your email of 7 July 2010 concerning the A350 Hole's Bay, Poole, Dorset.

The Dorset Safety Camera Partnership (DSCP) receives numerous speed complaints from communities or individuals travelling routes in Dorset and there have been many such emails concerning Hole’s Bay prior to the installation of the cameras.  The majority of these complaints are by email so it is not possible to identify the address of the sender other than from the text state that they have travelled along A350 Hole’s Bay and witnessed vehicles travelling at excessive speeds or driving inconsiderately. 

A few examples are below:

9 December 2005 – A lady I can identify as living in Bournemouth complains of the speed of vehicles at Hole’s Bay.

20 July 2006 – “Why are there no speed camera along this road – especially on Bike Night.

14 December 207 – “Excessive speeds at locus (Hole’s Bay, Poole)”

6 May 2008 – “Excessive speed of vehicles at Hole’s Bay”

For any one of these complaints DSCP will carry out verification of the complaints or community concerns (the stats of the tests carried out at Hole’s Bay before the camera became live have been previously supplied to you and are on the DSCP website under the FAQ’s).  Once the risk of excessive speed is confirmed action is taken accordingly. 

I hope that answers your query.


My reply:

Thank you, but this does not really answer the question. The important thing is to know how many complaints there have been. I did ask for the NUMBERS and location of the community involved, you have provided 4 examples of complaint about the Holes Bay Road, but I would like to know how many have complained about the speeds across the junction, which has to be the target area for the speed on green camera.

It is understood that the main Holes Bay Road is actually quite a fast road, and may suffer occasional "racing" which might happen on any road, which everyone would like to see targeted. But this would not be targeted or effected by the speed on green cameras in the 30 limit across the junction, so complaint numbers from the main (50 limit) road need to be subtracted or listed separately. The speed on green cameras would be a very poor solution to complaints about speed on the 50 section so must not be included. The mobile camera seen sometimes near the hotel might be the right solution to solve the problem in the 50 limit, but this is not the operation I'm currently concerned with.

So, to be clear so that we get the right information the next time:

Please could you give me the numbers of complaints about speed directly targeted by the speed on green cameras, across the Holes Bay / Sterte junction.

The speed on green is a disproportionate response making disproportionate money, there must therefore be a disproportionate problem here. Please simply tell us what it is if there is one.

My concerns about the delay in dealing with this come from simple surprise that the response had to be generated after FOI request, rather than having been done automatically as a precondition to the operation in the first place, and a justification published, perhaps on your website, about the operation, before it started.

Ian Belchamber