Cost derails plans for Berry Hill speed cameras

Reporter:

James Harrison

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Speed cameras look unlikely to be installed on a busy stretch of road after parish councillors decided the work would be too expensive.

A minimum cost of £50,000 was quoted to install the speed traps at Berry Hill, Taplow, with Taplow Parish Council quickly deciding the price could not be justified, despite an apparent need for the measures.

At the last council meeting, in May, Cllr Yannick Le Touze gave a report after investigating possible solutions to problems with speeding on the road, which he described as 'very drastic'.

Guidelines from South Bucks District Council had initially led him to believe the work could be completed for about £30,000, which would include the cost of additional equipment to be installed at Taplow Police Station.

However, at Tuesday's meeting, Cllr Le Touze said further investigation into the price of installing a pair of cameras to watch the busy stretch showed that this could be up to £60,000.

This was without taking into account annual maintenance costs of between £5,000 and £6,000 per year which would also have to be funded.

It was also pointed out that any proceeds taken from catching speeding vehicles could not be recouped by the parish council to pay for the scheme, as the money is collected by the Treasury to deter local authorities attempting to use them as revenue streams.

Cllr John Bamberg, the council's finance chairman, agreed, adding that until there was an accident on the road it would be difficult to prove a serious need for a speeding deterrent to be introduced.

He said: "Having lived and had to come out of Berry Hll on a blind bend for 40 years it is awkward, but there's never been an accident.

"I don't think we could justify that kind of expenditure.

"It's the same argument we've had with the county council about doing something at the bend of Berry Hill, where you take your life in your hands every time.

"But there's never been an accident and until there is they won't do anything about."

As well as moving cars, parked ones were a hot topic too, with parking problems in Marsh Lane and Hillmead Court also on the agenda.

Cllr Gerry O'Riordan, said he thought parking in Marsh Lane had been 'noticeably worse in the last few months, to the extent that most mornings there are cars parked on one side of the road from the A4 down to the first set of houses'.

Concern was also expressed about what the effect could be when Crossrail opens, which will bring four trains an hour through Taplow Station.

A suggestion was raised to put double yellow lines on the road, but councillors were unsure about whether this would simply move the problem elsewhere and it was decided to defer a decision until more information could be collected.

The meeting also saw the co-opting of a new councillor.

Claire Price trained as a chartered accountant in Newcastle upon Tyne, later working extensively in the USA and London before settling in Taplow about four years ago with her family.

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