Shock figures show nearly 4,000 drivers have been caught speeding on a notorious stretch of Burnley road in just one year.
Thousands of motorists were clocked speeding along Princess Way by police over a 12-month period, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.
Speeding penalties dished out to drivers falling foul of speeding laws in the 30mph zone accounted for 72% of 5,471 people caught by mobile police cameras across the whole of Burnley between August 2012 and 2013.
In comparison, Westway and Rossendale Road, which are similar twin carriageway roads with 30mph limits, saw just 472 and 247 drivers caught over the same period respectively. Critics have accused authorities of targeting motorists in Princess Way and cashing in on confusion over speed limits.
County Coun. Jeff Sumner said: “It is quite obvious that police know where they can catch people. There is only one speed sign on the slip road of the motorway coming into Burnley and no other signage anywhere in the area saying 30mph.
“With nearly 4,000 speeders in one area it shows something is wrong. The figures suggest there is a problem with confusion over the speed limit here. The authorities are cashing in. But they should be looking at prevention rather than punishment.”
An average of 90 drivers were caught speeding on the road by police mobile camera each of the 41 times, FOI figures show.
But enforcement officers clocked an astonishing 201 motorists breaking the speed limit at the spot in just two hours on October 6th last year.
More than £80,000 has been collected in fines by the authorities from the speeding hotspot. But critics believe the bill could top £250,000 in the hotspot with drivers paying out a £60 fine or £85 speed awareness course.
An administrator from the Facebook group Speed Camera Watch Burnley and Pendle, which has 5,933 members, says: “Everyone is understandably annoyed. People want to question why they have received notices of intended prosecution for alleged speeding along this road. The reason is simple, it’s hard to know what the limit is and it’s not well signposted.
“Some say to look at the lamp posts as this is an indication of the speed limit, however you can’t pay much attention to this while driving. It’s not fair to motorists in the slightest and if you’re not from the local area you have no chance.”
Sgt Claire Pearson, of Burnley Police, said the area around Princess Way is heavily populated and residential so the speed limit is 30mph. She said: “Disappointingly there are motorists that do not adhere to this limit therefore it has been necessary to use mobile speed cameras. Encouragingly, despite a significant number of motorists being caught speeding over the past 12 months, the most recent figures show the number of people caught speeding has fallen sharply which means our enforcement activity is working.”
Alan Capstick, highways manager for Burnley, said “We’re looking at options for a safety improvement scheme to address the accidents at the junction with Brougham Street and to encourage lower vehicle speeds along Princess Way.