I WRITE in support of Cllr Chris Moorby (Craven Herald letters, March 25).

Recent reports in the Craven Herald indicate that other areas of Craven also have genuine and serious concerns about speeding traffic.

Cowling 4#30 is a residents’ lobbying group calling for action to deal with speeding vehicles travelling at speeds approaching 70mph within the 30mph zone on the A6068 through the village.

Drivers get away with this due to poor road markings, signage and ineffective speed enforcement. There are of course many other areas of North Yorkshire that are similarly blighted.

So far, attempts by Cowling 4#30 to gain support from elected representatives, MPs, councillors, the police and North Yorkshire Highways have largely been frustrated.

Replies comprise of policy information and outdated data that supports the current ineffective approach. Individuals who raise specific concerns of speeding violation, including video and other evidence by submitting to, 95 Alive or NYP’s Operation Spartan receive a generalised response that fails to address the concern, or no response at all.

Put simply, the authorities appear to be saying, ‘There is no problem, please go away.’

North Yorkshire is one of only a small number of districts in the UK that do not use fixed or average speed camera technology, preferring to rely on mobile units.

There are significant problems with this: - six mobile units are thinly spread throughout North Yorkshire and are effective only when they are present - which is only a small fraction of the time, and never at night as they can't operate in darkness. They are highly visible in daylight and easily spotted from a distance giving cars time to slow down and avoid being ‘clocked’.

Drivers are often warned by oncoming drivers flashing headlamps that there is a speed trap coming up. Even bus drivers are seen doing this. The concept of covert speed camera operation doesn’t seem to have occurred as a possible approach.

Why does NYCC have a policy of no fixed speed cameras on its road network? The policy goes back a long time, possibly as long as three decades. Ultimately it appears to be based on the recommendation of the police hierarchy, but not many police officers on the ground who we have spoken to seem to agree.

Speed cameras don't come cheap, a good estimate is £50,000 plus per camera.

So if smaller highways authorities such as Lancashire can afford to install fixed cameras, why can't NYCC? And what is the cost to society of a road accident? It varies according to how much damage is done, but a single fatal road accident can cost society well over £1.5 million. And you cannot put a price on a life. Cowling has seen.

One reason given by the authorities for the no fixed camera policy, is that mobile units are more flexible, having the element of surprise by varying the time and location of the speed trap, which they say means that would-be speeders are always on their guard and are therefore not so tempted to speed.

This is unsatisfactory and clearly not backed up by any real world observations. Speeding traffic can too easily evade mobile units and continue to pose a lethal threat to law abiding road users.

NYCC and the police are behind the times, as is obvious to anyone who cares to study the available best evidence on speed management. "Road Safety Support Enforcement Strategy - Raising the Game" is published by Road Safety Support Limited, a unique company which assists more than 90 per cent of the UK's police forces, local authorities and Safer Roads Partnerships.

The document explains that a fully integrated approach using fixed, average and mobile speed cameras, clear and improved road signage, effective publicity, driver education and random enforcement is the way forward.

It's time for NYCC and NYP to wake up and practise effective speed management and to stop using excuses that don't stack up.

Graham Smout