This £21,000-per-month A151 camera is county’s second-biggest earner

.speed camera damage'main rd,whaplode'06/09/11
.speed camera damage'main rd,whaplode'06/09/11
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DRIVERS have coughed up more than £214,000 in ten months after being caught by an A151 road safety camera since the speed limit dropped from 40mph to 30mph.

Some 3,577 drivers were ‘snapped’ between June 30 last year and April 10 this year. That is more than 14 times the number caught in the whole financial year 2010-11 when fewer than 250 drivers flouted the old limit.

Whaplode’s camera is now the county’s second top “earner”, beaten only by one on a busy stretch of the A1 near Grantham.

Safety officials and campaigners say the new limit and traffic calming have slashed the number of crashes in Whaplode from nine to a little over two a year.

The 30mph limit started in January 2011 and Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle said there was a six-month “calming period” before the first ticketed offence on June 30.

He added: “Ample warning is given that the camera is there.”

Speeding drivers who are caught:

• pass large red signs showing a new speed limit is in force

• travel by 30mph signs either side of the road

• go through “significant traffic calming measures”

• pass the speed limit sign with a picture of a camera on it

• should see fluorescent stickers on the roadside camera

Almost all cash earned by cameras goes to the Government through fixed penalty or court fines.

Some drivers pay £90 to go on a speed awareness course to avoid adding points to their licence – £35 of that goes to the police for administration fees and the rest funds Lincolnshire road safety schemes.

Whaplode district councillor Bob Creese helped spearhead a campaign for traffic calming in the village and is delighted the accident rate has dropped.

Four people were killed on the stretch of road covered by the speed limit in recent years. Coun Creese says a bypass is the best solution as 13,500 vehicles go through Whaplode daily.

• Holbeach St Marks man Tom Armour (52) claims he is prepared to go to prison rather than pay an £80 fine and £15 victim surcharge for speeding by the camera last October.

He was doing 38mph but believed it was still a 40mph limit.

He joined the A151 from Stockwell Gate, beside Moulton Cars, and turned right. He said the 30mph signs were 60-70 yards away and he couldn’t have seen them.

Mr Armour said: “More than 3,000 people have been caught. There’s an inherent fault here.”