A PETITION calling for speed cameras to be installed in Cowling has been signed by more than 400 people.

Fed-up villagers, who have campaigned for almost 30 years for ‘effective’ speed limit enforcement through the village - are calling on North Yorkshire County Council and Zoe Metcalfe, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, to follow the example of neighbouring county, Lancashire, and install fixed and average speed cameras on problem roads.

Gillian Taylor, spokesperson for Cowling 4#30, said: “It’s about time North Yorkshire caught up with other police forces and make use of modern technology to help speed enforcement across the county.”

Members of the campaign group, which has been running for several years, point to Lancashire County Council and its £7m Safer Road Fund programme and the council’s recent announcement that more average speed cameras are to be installed this year - including on the A682 from Gisburn to the North Yorkshire boundary near Long Preston.

Ms Taylor added: “Residents of Cowling have campaigned for nearly three decades for effective speed enforcement.

“Cowling is straddled by West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Both of those counties use fixed and average speed cameras and so motorists who want to speed do so through Cowling relatively comfortable of being able to do so with little chance of being caught.”

Mobile speed units are deployed in the village from time to time but residents say that they are only effective when they are there, and they do not operate at night.

Campaigners, who have set up a Facebook page reporting incidents of speeding and anti-social driving say they have witnessed drivers going at more than 100mph though the village, which has a 30mph speed limit.

Ms Taylor added: “Cowling 4#30 have been working with (North Yorkshire) highways and the police to try and address the issues, but it has become obvious that effective and consistent enforcement is key. The police are stretched too thin and can’t possibly manage this across the 6,000 miles of roads of North Yorkshire. “

In response, Zoe Metcalfe, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York, said safer roads was one of her key priorities and she was ‘commissioning an evaluation of enforcement to address the behaviours that contribute to incidents on the road of which speeding is a major part’.

She said: “I am always listening to our communities’ concerns, through local meetings, my advice surgeries and correspondence with my office.

“Safer roads is one of my key priorities and, working in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council, National Highways and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, we published the Safer Roads Strategy for North Yorkshire and York.

“Ensuring the effectiveness of the strategy, through the partnership, I am commissioning an evaluation of enforcement to address the behaviours that contribute to incidents on the road of which speeding is a major part.”

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways and transportation, Cllr Keane Duncan, also in response, said: “Road safety is of paramount importance to the county council and the communities we serve.

“We work in close partnership with North Yorkshire Police so our approach to speed limits and enforcement is coordinated, responsive and based on evidence.

“We welcome feedback from residents and look at best practice from other areas to ensure we have the most effective strategy to reduce injuries and fatalities on North Yorkshire’s roads.”

According to the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership Safer Road Strategy 2021 - 2026 report speeding offences made up 85 per cent of the total motor related offences in 2019 in North Yorkshire and have increased by 25 per cent over the past five years.

Lancashire County Council will later this year install average speed cameras on the A682 from Gisburn to the boundary with North Yorkshire at Long Preston.

There are currently eight routes already covered by average speed camera enforcement systems in Lancashire, which were installed in 2017 and 2018. The county council says initial evaluation shows there has been a reduction in collisions of up to 86 per cent on the routes.

To sign the petition set up by Cowling residents, go to: https://www.change.org/average-fixed-cameras-NY