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More than 1,200 drivers caught speeding on Sheppey Crossing since cameras were installed

More than 1,200 drivers have been caught breaking the 70mph limit on the Sheppey Crossing in the six months since speed cameras were fitted there.

From May to November the average-speed cameras have snapped 1,240 drivers exceeding the limit.

The latest figures, provided by police, show more people were caught speeding driving onto the Island, rather than off it - a total of 718 drivers Sheppey-bound, compared to 522 heading towards Sittingbourne.

Average speed cameras on the A249 Sheppey Crossing
Average speed cameras on the A249 Sheppey Crossing

The equipment was installed in March as part of a £350,000 scheme after Highways England completed a 17-month safety review of the bridge.

It replaced a temporary 50mph limit that ended on March 21.

A lower maximum speed was imposed on the crossing and its approaches in July 2015, following an inquest into the death of mother and son Deborah and Marshall Roberts.

Despite the intention to slow traffic down to make it safer, the accident rate increased.

A spokesman for the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership, which manages the cameras, said about 30,000 vehicles use the crossing every day.

Commenting on the number breaking the limit, he added: “These low offence numbers should be viewed in the context of the very high number of vehicles flowing over the crossing every day, and are typical of the sort of very high compliance rates experienced in other average-speed systems.”

Those caught will either do a speed awareness course, have points added to their licence or will have to pay a £100 fine.

Anyone whose speed is particularly excessive will receive a court summons.

Speaking about the latest figures, Emma Tweed, who lost her sister Deborah Roberts and eight-year-old nephew Marshall in a crash on the crossing in 2014 - said the number of drivers still flouting the limit on the crossing came as a shock.

Emma Tweed, Deborah's sister and aunt to Marshall
Emma Tweed, Deborah's sister and aunt to Marshall

“I would have thought drivers would now know they are live and active,” she said.

“I can’t understand why people need to go over the 70mph limit anyway – that’s just dangerous.

“Especially at night time –there’s no lighting whatsoever, yet there’s still cars bombing past me when I’m doing the limit.”

The 43-year-old, who lives in Sittingbourne, appealed to drivers to watch their speed, particularly given what happened to her sister and nephew.

“I just think people really need to remember what has happened on that bridge.

“There was that massive pile-up involving about 130 cars and then the death of my sister and my little nephew.

“Drive to the speed limit rather than speed and you will get to where you’re going safer,” she said.

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