Making South Yorkshire Safer

Major safety scheme aims to reduce deaths on a notorious South Yorkshire road

Oct 19 2012

Work starts today on a major new road safety initiative aimed at tackling the high level of casualties on a notorious stretch of road which runs through parts of Sheffield and Barnsley.

On the section of the A61, running between Grenoside, Sheffield and the A616 (T) roundabout in Barnsley, six people have been killed and 19 seriously injured in traffic collisions over the last five years. A further 93 have suffered from slight injuries.

In a bid to reduce this toll the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, through its Safety Camera Unit, is creating a new speed controlled zone using a series of average speed cameras to control vehicle speeds on the 5.5km stretch of road. The section of the A61 to be covered by the cameras includes a series of  bends through Grenoside Woods and a number of major road junctions which have experienced collisions in the past.

Based upon data provided by the Department for Transport in their report ‘A Valuation of Road Accidents and Casualties in GB in 2010’, the current average costs to society as a result of these collisions is in excess of £2.8million per year.

Chief Inspector Stuart Walne said: “Inappropriate speed is a common factor in collisions which have previously happened on this stretch of the A61. Traditional speed enforcement is not straightforward along this route and we have had to look at ways of using current technology to its best effect.

“The cameras are being installed as a road safety measure. If they don’t record anyone breaking the speed limit on the road that will be great. It’s not about catching people, it is simply about reducing collisions and saving injuries and life.”

"By encouraging drivers to travel at an appropriate speed we estimate that we will see a 40% reduction in the number of collisions. There may be delays whilst our contractor installs the equipment but we ask for people’s patience - the long-term benefits will far outweigh any short-term inconvenience”.

Average speed cameras have been widely used around the UK, with more than fifty permanent installations currently in operation.  On sites with a significant casualty history, these cameras have proved themselves effective in reducing the number of collisions and associated casualties.

Work to install the cameras on the A61 will start on 19 October and is expected to be completed by early 2013. Some of this work will involve temporary traffic signals at certain times of day but to minimise disruption no work will be taking place at peak times.

For further information visit the webpage http://www.safetycamera.org/camera-locations/safety-plans-for-the-a61

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Barnsley Council Sheffield City Council Doncaster Council Rotherham Council South Yorkshire Police HM Courts Highways Agency