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Beedon Parish Council to debate investment after speed cameras vandalised by firearms

A vandalised temporary speed camera in Beedon has led the parish council to debate whether to invest most of their annual budget into permanent fixtures.

Two cameras were in place for three weeks in February and during that time, one of them was damaged by projectiles from some sort of air rifle or ball bearing gun.

The two devices, which were on loan from West Berkshire Council, were installed on Oxford Road in an attempt to reduce speeding from cars coming southbound off the A34.

Oxford Road (55261316)
Oxford Road (55261316)

Councillor Alison Smith said: “Beedon Parish Council have a relatively small budget and investing in these cameras to improve the safety of our community is going to take a significant amount of our annual budget.

“If the units are then vandalised we would not be able to replace them, so this is making us question if this is an investment we can afford.”

One of the devices showed evidence of being shot at least six times with significant damage being caused. The council said it was unaware of who the culprit might be.

Showing the result of the damage on the speed camera device (55261312)
Showing the result of the damage on the speed camera device (55261312)

The council believes investing in permanent Pro Gen 5 cameras, which provide drivers with a visual read-out of their speed along with a happy or unhappy face to encourage compliance with the 30mph limit, would be a significant step in combatting the speeding issues on Oxford Road.

Oxford Road is the emergency alternative route for the A34, so other traffic calming measures such as road-narrowing or speed bumps aren’t able to be installed.

The road, which runs through the centre of Beedon, has seen two accidents in the past year due to speeding cars colliding with parked vehicles.

Due to narrow footpaths, pedestrians often resort to walking on the road, which is another safety concern for the parish council.

The narrow footpaths on Oxford Road
The narrow footpaths on Oxford Road

At their next meeting, which occurs on Thursday, March 17, Beedon Parish Council will decide whether to invest in permanent cameras or not.

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