Eight average speed cameras have been installed along the A32 and A272 either side of the West Meon Hut in an effort to tackle the scourge of noisy speeding motorcycles.
The new cameras have been funded by Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Donna Jones to address “two of the most problematic roads for excessive noise and speeding in Hampshire”.
It follows persistent complaints from villagers living along the two roads – with Langrish, Bordean, West Meon, Bramdean, East Tisted and Lower Farringdon among those worst affected – backed by local MPs and councillors.
In January 2022, the PCC set aside £677,000 from the Safer Roads Reserve, which is revenue generated from speed camera fines, to fund the cameras and the decision to invest was backed up by “significant analysis” by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.
The A32 and A272 are identified as “high casualty” roads by the police, a tag tragically confirmed by the death of a motorcyclist on the A272 in Langrish last week.
Bit catching speeding motorcycles on the A32 and A272 has for many years presented a problem for police.
That could now change, however, with the installation this week of eight new average speed cameras on the roads approaching the West Meon Hut and its popular bikers’ cafe.
Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said: “Since being elected I have received consistent complaints from residents in the surrounding areas of the A32 and A272 in the Meon Valley about excessive motorbike noise and speeding. I am delighted to announce the new cameras to tackle this issue are now being installed.
“I know the constabulary has always invested significant time and resources into speeding enforcement on these roads because they are high-casualty roads, but due to limited technology, capturing offending motorists and motorcyclists, up until now, has been difficult.
“The cameras will provide a 24/7 permanent digital enforcement for the police, making it easier to identify offending motorists and take action against those who are driving dangerously.”
Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire, said: “It’s fantastic to see the cameras appearing on the A32 and A272. Sadly, we are all too aware of the horrendous consequences of speeding, particularly on country roads.
“Excessive noise from speeding vehicles can be a real blight on people’s lives and destroy the tranquillity of the countryside. Those who choose to drive or ride recklessly, with little thought for other road users or the communities living close by, will hopefully think twice now that the cameras are in operation.
"My thanks go to the commissioner, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and the Hampshire Highways team for bringing this project to fruition.”
Average speed cameras are used in pairs and a minimum time is set to pass between them, meaning road users cannot slow down before the first camera then speed again until they reach the second.
Roads Policing Unit Inspector, Andy Tester said: “Speeding is one of the ‘fatal five’ causes of serious injury or fatal collisions on our roads and these cameras will act as a deterrent to those who choose to ignore speed limits.
“Our dedicated roads policing officers will continue to patrol these roads, but the addition of these cameras means more speeding motorists will be caught and the highways will be safer for all road users.”
Flick Drummond MP for Meon Valley added: “Excessive speeding and motorbike noise along the A32 and A272 have been a huge concern for residents in this part of Meon Valley. They have endured this anti-social and illegal activity for far too long.
“The installation of new average speed cameras is something residents wanted and something I have campaigned to happen since I was elected. I thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for her brilliant work ensuring the cameras are up and running.
“Slower speeds mean less noise and safer roads. I am delighted the cameras are in place. I have a few words for the minority of riders and drivers who think the A32 and A272 their personal racetracks. Fines, penalty points and even a ban from the road await you if you break the law.”