Views differ on A1 speed cameras

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Thousands of drivers have been caught by speed cameras on a trunk road where there were just a handful of accidents, it has been revealed.

A total of 6,200 people were detected by safety cameras on the A1 between Edinburgh and the border last year.

Figures obtained from Police Scotland under Freedom of Information show there were 12 accidents on the route.

It is understood that most were caught on one of the road’s 13 fixed cameras.

Road safety campaigners claimed it proved the cameras were successful at keeping the accident rate low.

However, others insisted it proved that speed traps were being used on relatively safe roads as a means of raising income for the UK treasury.

Tory MSP John Lamont said: “While speed cameras certainly can have a role to play in making our roads safer, these figures suggest that they are actually being used for a very different purpose.

“If speed cameras really were focused on saving lives then more should be placed in residential areas and in and around schools. Instead, the overwhelming impression is that they are being used as a way to rake in even more money from motorists.”

SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse said the A1 was a very busy road, with peak flows of about 12,000 vehicles a day on single-carriageway stretches of the road in August.

He said: “For the communities that live astride that road, speeding traffic can be a huge problem for those trying to join the A1 at its many rural junctions and there have been all too many tragedies involving either visitors or locals on the A1 in the 15 years I have lived here.”

Seven fixed speed cameras were installed on the A1 in the Borders in the 1990s.