A COUNCILLOR has criticised police for leaving a speed camera location unmanned for two years.

In 2007, residents of High Coniscliffe, near Darlington, called for enforcement action after a survey showed more than half of the vehicles travelling through the area were speeding.

The village was listed as one of more than 100 locations covered by the police’s safety camera van, however, recent inquiries revealed that the van had not monitored traffic in the village since April 2012.

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The most recent figures available date from 2011 and show that, in some cases, the camera, situated on the A67, had been triggered more than 50 times in just over an hour.

Ward councillor Gerald Lee said he had been shocked and disappointed to find that, despite the figures, the van had not been present for two years.

While traffic in the area is currently quieter than normal as a result of diversions following the recent landslip on the A67, Coun Lee warned that the volume will inevitably increase following repairs and could be higher than ever before.

Calling for the police to step up their enforcement measures in the area, he said: “In 2007, a traffic survey showed more than 44,000 vehicles travelling through the village in a week were going at more than 36mph.

“Those figures will no doubt have increased and it is a dangerous blackspot.

“People say it is difficult to get across the road, there is overtaking in silly places and it all boils down to careless and irresponsible driving and a lack of enforcement.”

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said the area was not regarded as a priority site.

He added: “Over the last three years there have been only three injury accidents on that stretch of road, none of which resulted in serious injuries or were caused by excess speed.

“In the last few weeks local officers have been carrying out community speedwatch operations, in one session only two cars were recorded in an hour as exceeding the speed limit and on the second occasion, there were only three cars recorded as going too fast.

“The figures do not suggest there is a need for further enforcement, however it is our intention to carry out more sessions in the near future.”