The bill for average speed cameras on the A16 between Spalding and Crowland has soared from an estimated £85,000 to £200,000.
In October we reported cameras were on the way as highways chiefs aimed to cut the soaring death toll on a brand new road that claimed eight lives in its first five years.
Last year the provisional estimated cost was £85,000 but now it’s been revealed the system will stretch a little over eight miles from the bypass in Spalding to a roundabout north of Crowland rather than focus on the Crowland district alone.
It was envisaged in October that the cameras would be installed this month, but Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle said there’s no estimated start date at the moment.
He said the contract has only just been awarded and equipment like cameras, gantries and infrared lighting has to be produced by several manufacturers.
“The back office for the data to be sent, in real time, to be processed has to be built also,” he said.
Although the scheme will cost £200,000, it’s impossible to estimate the cost of lives already lost on the road. Sixteen people were also seriously injured in the five years to 2015.
Politicians have welcomed the cameras as a first step towards making the road safer, but they still want to see improvements to junctions where lives have been lost, especially the A16/B1166, and to see safety steps introduced on the A1073.
The county’s first average speed cameras at Ropsley, near Grantham, cut the number of crashes by 57 per cent and saw a 70-plus per cent drop in deaths and serious injuries.
South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes said: “Obviously this (the cameras) is very good news. It is going to make a difference and we should be very pleased the council has responded to what we have been arguing about. It is great news, a positive response and a victory for common sense.”
But Mr Hayes says the council must still make the junctions safer, particularly the A16/B166, because tackling speeding on the A16 is not the whole answer.
“It doesn’t actually matter if someone is driving along the A16 at 40mph, 60mph or more than 60mph, if you pull out in front of them from the B1166, there is going to be a serious collision,” he said.
The MP says the A16/B1166 junction is too complex and has too many options for drivers to navigate safely. He also feels the central waiting area is too narrow for drivers crossing both carriageways to go straight on.
Earlier this month Mr Hayes joined councillors on a site visit to Crowland and watched as drivers “hesitated” at the junction.
He said: “You could restrict a couple of options and probably make people more confident of using it.”
County councillor Nigel Pepper, who represents Crowland, said: “I welcome the introduction of average speed cameras along the A16 stretch of road between Crowland and Spalding.
“This type of enforcement is extremely effective in ensuring motorists adhere to the speed limit.
“We must not run away with the fact that this is the answer to our prayers as the main concern is the scary A16/B1166 and A16/B1040 Crowland junctions whereby dangerous manoeuvres are witnessed on a daily basis – also there is becoming an ever increasing rat-run on the old Crowland by-pass which needs some consideration.”