"Pure moneymaking": Leeds firefighter speed camera fury as 26,000 caught on same stretch of road

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A retired Leeds firefighter has spoken of his fury after being caught speeding on a prolific road that has seen more than 26,000 motorists slapped with fines.

Mark Hamilton, a retired 30 year veteran of the West Yorkshire fire service, was travelling along the A64, running between Temple View Road and the Hope Inn, last month when he was flashed doing 39mph in what he thought was a 40mph zone.

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Road works have seen the two-lane 0.3 mile stretch reduced to 30mph as part of a wider "casualty reduction" plan.

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An FOI request found that 26,000 drivers have been caught speeding since the speed limit changed one year ago. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.An FOI request found that 26,000 drivers have been caught speeding since the speed limit changed one year ago. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.
An FOI request found that 26,000 drivers have been caught speeding since the speed limit changed one year ago. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

Mr Hamilton, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder following his distinguished career in the fire service, has hit out at this claim.

"Casualty reduction is what I did for 30 years in the fire service reducing fire calls from 8,000 to 2,000, saving countless lives." he explained "This is not casualty reduction, this is pure moneymaking because when you are driving at 30mph on this stretch of duel carriageway it feels like you are going backwards."

A subsequent freedom of information request, submitted by Mr Hamilton, has discovered that in the past year alone over 26,000 people have been caught speeding on this stretch of road at a cost of total £2.6m.

Mr Hamilton said: "I am fuming about this and so will the other 26,000 drivers who have been caught out just going about their business. It's a cash cow, they are reaping in money and are going to let it ride and ride."

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In numbers provided to the YEP, Leeds City Council's Accident Studies detailed how the stretch of road has been particularly bad for traffic collisions involving pedestrians with numbers having reduced from eight to two since the speed change was implemented.

A Leeds City Council Spokesperson, said: “During the work to reconstruct the A64 Regent Street Flyover, one of the road safety measures introduced was a reduction in the speed limit to complement the four-lane capacity reduction to a contraflow two lane operation. Safety measures such as reducing the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph in the area was necessary to protect the workforce carrying out the improvements and the general public travelling through the area.

“A particular concern was the safety of pedestrians, who prior to the introduction of the contraflow two lane operations works, were used to observing oncoming traffic from one direction only. The contraflow is essential to keep traffic moving and avoid undue congestion across a wider area of the city.

“The 30mph speed limit and the presence of safety cameras are well signed and additional mobile messaging was introduced to alert drivers of the limit change."

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These views were similarly echoed by West Yorkshire Police, who are responsible for policing this stretch of road.

A statement provided to the YEP read: "West Yorkshire Police enforces speed limits using static and mobile cameras on behalf of the West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership. We remain committed to preventing deaths and injury on our roads caused by vehicles travelling at inappropriate or dangerous speeds.

"The temporarily reduced speed limit on the A64 was introduced by Leeds City Council highways authority, in consultation with WYP, in order to maximise the safety of road users and protect the contracted workforce during the extensive engineering works currently taking place on this length of road."

Leeds City Council have insisted that this stretch of road will be returned to its previous speed once works on the Regent Street Flyover are complete, which is expected in the spring of 2022.

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