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Row over Harwood speed trap rages on

THE row over the controversial Great Harwood speed camera is raging on, with motorists who have had to pay speeding fines demanding their money back.

THE row over the controversial Great Harwood speed camera is raging on, with motorists who have had to pay speeding fines demanding their money back.

Scores of drivers were clocked by the notorious camera on Whalley Road after the speed limit was dropped from 40mph to 30mph last November.

Many motorists said they weren't given enough warning of the change and claimed the new speed limit was not clearly marked.

The long-running saga took a new turn last week when 62-year-old Barry Nowell, who was clocked doing 35mph, took his case to court. He was told that the Crown Prosecution Service had decided it was not in the public interest to proceed with the prosecution, saving him a fine of £60 and three penalty points.

Since his case was highlighted in the Observer we have received several letters and calls both from people who have been "let off" and from motorists who paid up at the time and want their money back.

Sarah Wright, 25, of Great Harwood, was caught doing 38mph on 30 November. She contested the fixed penalty fine and was given a date to appear in court. But after spotting the article in last week's Observer she checked and has been told that her case too is being dropped.

She said: "I did not see any signs saying it was no longer a 40mph road but I saw the camera flash when I went past. I was just disgusted with it to be honest.''

Ann and Sam Siburuth, of Brigsteer Close, Clayton-le-Moors, were both clocked by the camera on the same day but paid their fines and were given three points each on their licences.

Now they think that their convictions - Sam's first blemish in 30 years of driving - should be overturned.

The couple had gone away for the weekend on 8 November and were unaware the speed limit had changed while they were away. They were clocked within hours of each other when they visited Anne's mum in Great Harwood - on the outward and return journeys.

Anne said: "When we returned from our holiday we did not use that stretch of road for a few days, so were unaware of the change in speed limit. Also, we had not seen any notices to say the speed limit would soon be changing.

"On Monday 15 November we were driving to Great Harwood and did see the temporary signs but thought they had been placed there for roadworks or a rally. The signs were confusing with no clear instructions on them. To say we were both cross is an understatement. We couldn't believe it.

"I have had a letter from Lancashire Constabulary saying that we can't have our money back and the points will stay on our licences but some people have not had to pay and that's not fair."

A police spokesman said each case was being dealt with on its individual merits and there was no question of cases being withdrawn en bloc.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist