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Flea calls for speed cameras

Councillor Alison Duncan 'crisis situation' - Photo: SIC

A SHETLAND councillor believes the time has come for Shetland to introduce speed cameras in accident blackspots.

Shetland South member Allison Duncan told the community safety and resilience board committee last week that Shetland faces “a major catastrophe” unless road users are kept more strictly in check.

Duncan made the suggestion after a report given by police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch showed the amount of people detected for speeding in the isles had increased over the last couple of years.

In 2013/14 a total of 93 drivers were caught over the speed limit, whilst in 2014/15 that number was 126.

Duncan – who opened by admitting to speeding in the past himself – cited dangerous roads in his south mainland ward, such as Levenwick and Quarff, as reasons why stricter measures should be imposed.

As the committee’s vice-chairman he noted promised improvements in road quality, such as at the notoriously narrow stretch of the A970 near Levenwick that saw an articulated truck tumble down its embankment in January.

Duncan said speed cameras at accident hotspots such as Levenwick would be cheaper than rebuilding the narrow road - Photo: Ronnie Robertson
“But has the time not come where we have to have speed cameras?” he asked.

Duncan said it would be a “cheaper method” than upgrading roads, adding that Shetland is reaching a “crisis situation with a certain few speedsters”.

Income taken through fines could be used to pay back the costs of setting up the cameras, he believed.

Tulloch responded positively, saying: “I would welcome anything that will reduce accidents. It’s a real consideration, and I’m more than willing to consult to see how to bring it forward.”

He added that a mobile speed camera unit could work best due to the sparse nature of the isles.

Committee chairman Alistair Cooper, however, was “not convinced” speed cameras were the answer.

He suggested that an average speed check across a greater length of road would be more effective than a single camera.

Speaking at a community safety and resilience board meeting in January, Duncan said that a study conducted five years ago revealed the average speed of the accident blackspot section of road near Levenwick was 66mph.

Fifteen per cent of drivers exceeded the limit during the study.