Vehicle speeds in York – Comprehensive stats released by police

The North Yorkshire Police have published updated statistics which reveal the speed of vehicles using roads in York. The figures have been derived from automatic equipment which has been deployed over the last 4 years. Usually the sites for the equipment have been selected following complaints raised by members of the public.

The stats are separate from those collected by the speed camera vans which are sometimes deployed in the area. The request for the data was partly prompted by a concern that the speed vans weren’t concentrating their time on roads with poor accident records.

250 roads have been checked in the York area during the last 4 years.

Information covering the results for the whole of North Yorkshire can be downloaded by clicking this link

The information for the monitoring equipment was routinely reported to a York Council meeting until 2015.  The process was centralised in North Yorkshire thereafter and largely fell out of the public gaze.

The published information shows the mean speed and the 85%tile speed recorded on each road. The latter figure is the speed that 85% of vehicles drive within. It is most commonly used by professionals to decide whether a road has a speeding problem. (Vehicles exceeding that limit could include emergency vehicles)

The stats also record the number of accidents – where speed is an issue – recorded on each road.

There are several conclusions which can be drawn from the data:

  1. A 30-mph speed limit is observed by most drivers using roads in the urban area
  2. 20 mph speed limits are not being observed although on those roads there have been no speed related accidents while mean speeds generally remain below 30 mph. The only monitored road with an 85% speed of less than a 20 mph limit was St Johns Walk
  3. The only roads where there have been speed related accidents, and where drivers were routinely exceeding the speed limit, were North Lane (Huntington), Jockey Lane (Huntington), Heworth Green, Intake Lane (Acaster Malbis) Osbaldwick link Road, York Road (Naburn) and Huntington Road (nr Cats Protection office). Accident prevention works have subsequently taken place at some of the these sites.
  4. Of the roads with speed issues in the York area, during the early autumn, the speed camera vans visited Millfield Lane (Poppleton), Strensall Road (Huntington), the Monks Cross link road,  Temple Lane (Copmanthorpe) and Tadcaster Road in Dringhouses. However, the vans  spent most of their time on the A64 and A59.

Overall the figures suggest that excessive speeding is not a problem on most monitored roads in the City.

Speed related accidents are also relatively low. In the City, since the beginning of 2017, there have been 5 serious injuries caused by speeding vehicles plus a further 13 accidents which were classified as “slight”.

The York Council would be wise to reintroduce a regular public monitor of the statistics and the action taken to reduce the possibility of accidents in the future.

They could usefully begin by reinstating the missing speed warning signs (VAS) on streets like Wetherby Road.

Speed camera vans in North Yorkshire generate £1.9 million in income

The annual report into the performance of North Yorkshires 12 speed camera vans has been published.

We have been critical of the Crime Commissioner in the past for failing to demonstrate a link between the deployment of the vans and a reduction in accident rates.

The latest report makes some attempt to do so.

Overall speed related accidents, resulting in death or serious injury, have fluctuated since 2010 when the first vans were deployed.

There were fewer serious accidents recorded  in 2017 that in 2016.

However, safer roads may result from several factors. Local Council proactively carry out engineering work at accident black-spots while passive measures, such as signs which flash a vehicles speed, can also have an effect.

So, we must look closer for evidence that the cameras are reducing speeds and accident levels.

The vans mostly concentrate on locations where there is a known speeding problem. This includes sites like Whitwell on the Hill on the A64 where 4686 violations were recorded during 2017.

We looked in vain for a trend over the years in both average recorded speeds, the percentage of drivers speeding and accident levels for this section of road.

There are, however, around 20 serious accidents on the A64 each year, so some speed monitoring is clearly justified.

We remain supportive of the deployment of mobile cameras. In addition to monitoring speeds they can now spot other infringements like mobile phone use and lack of a seat belt.

The ANPR facility allows professional criminals to be identified as they move into and around the county.

But we remain sceptical about whether 12 mobile cameras can be justified. They cost taxpayers a net £263,000 last year.

Yet many local roads like Wetherby Road and Green Lane in west York didn’t receive a single visit for a van last year. Anyone monitoring the flashing signs on these roads will see that around 10% of drivers are exceeding the speed limit.

In a residential area that is a potential safety risk which requires some attention