Aug 31 2011 By Jack Abell
SPEED cameras in South Bucks are failing to cause accident rates to drop despite successfully bringing average speeds down.
Roads in Beaconsfield, Chalfont St Peter, Denham and Stoke Poges which have speed cameras saw an increase in the number of road accidents from 2009 to 2010 according to new figures released by Thames Valley Police.
All the roads saw the average speed drop over that period of time, but the figures show that they did not see a similar fall in accident rates.
The A40 London Road in Beaconsfield, where the speed limit is 50mph, saw accidents rise from two to six from 2009 to 2010, while at the same time, saw the average speed of vehicles falling from 41.7mph to 39.9mph.
Meanwhile, the A413 at Gravel Hill in Chalfont St Peter, which has a 30mph limit, had just one casualty in 2009, but had three in 2010, one of them serious.
Driver Martin Lewis, who is currently fighting a speeding fine he received in Denham, said: "These figures show that speed cameras don't have the desired effect.
"Yes, they bring vehicle speeds down because drivers are frightened about getting caught going slightly over the limit, but they don't stop accidents.
"Even a slight rise in accidents is too much, and it proves what many people have always said - that speed cameras don't work."
Thames Valley Police is one of the first authorities to publish the information, which is part of a Government initiative to ease the access the public has to such statistics.
Road safety minister Mike Penning said; "Local residents have a right to expect that when their council spends money on speed cameras, they publish information to show whether those cameras are helping to reduce accidents or not."
Mary Eggleton of Chalfont St Peter, who received a fine from the Gravel Hill camera in 2008, said: "The statistics certainly make for interesting reading. I don't think people will be surprised to see that the cameras aren't stopping accidents. All they do is slow people down for a very small section of the road, which is what these figures show.
"They don't have an effect on accident rates."