This page encompasses the area covered by Essex Police, including Essex itself, Southend and Thurrock.
ABD Local co-ordinator:

A120 Braintree – Marks Tey Dualling Cancelled
The government have dropped plans to widen the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey (A12) to dual carriageway. The A120 is dual carriageway from Junction 8 of the M11 to Braintree but then becomes single carriageway to the A12 at Marks Tey. Once again the government have done half a job.
SPECS Cameras on the Dartford Bridge
SPECS cameras are now operating on the Dartford Brdige and the approach to it, they are mounted on overhead gantries and cover all four lanes. There is a set of cameras on the gantry immediately before the tool booths. The cameras appear to have only one side mounted infra-red illuminator.
A127 50 Limit
A 50mph speed limit enforced by SPECS cameras has been imposed on the A127 Southend Arterial Road, between the Dick Turpin pub and the Southend borough boundary. SPECS cameras also operate between the Nevendon graded junction and the Dick Turpin pub though the current 70mph will stay in place. Both sections of road are dual carrigeway with some in-grade junctions and entrances, but with no crossovers, and a 50mph limit is simply not justified.
Essex County Council has stupidly caused even more resentment by refusing to say when the cameras were being switched on.
The ABD has long suspected that SPECS speed cameras do not work very well at higher speeds, and this may be the cause of the council refusing to tell people what is going on.
A Facebook group set up to oppose the new limits has attracted over 11,000 supporters.
A freedom of information request has revealed that the cameras were largely funded by KeyMed Ltd, an Essex based subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, Japan. We'd like to know why. Meanwhile, you know what make of camera not to buy.

Source: National Statistics — Road Casualties in Great Britain.
See also PR492 re hospital admission figures.
Road Pricing Concerns
Essex County Council have expressed concerns about possible road pricing trails. They have asked Roads Minister Paul Clark to clarify the issue.
Essex CC cabinet member for highways and transportation Councillor Norman Hume said "It is important that the government also understands that a large part of Essex is rural, and for many residents the only option is to use their car to carry out their normal, everyday activities."
GrSomeone has discovered that a large sticker or sheet of paper, printed with the letters 'Gr' in a large font*, sticks very nicely over the 'Sp' on signs saying 'Speed Cameras'. This has caused much hilarity in Essex — except amongst the police who have threatened to throw the book at the person responsible for the political satire.
A spokesman for the RAC Foundation said "We wouldn't condone what this person is doing, but it seems quite harmless. It's questionnable whether it is a matter for the police. There are more important things for officers to be doing."
* 'Transport Heavy' font to be precise.
Why not make it clear what you think of speed cameras by printing off one of our 'Greed Cameras' signs and putting it in your rear window?
(Double-sided sellotape comes in useful)
Hope On The Horizon
The new Chief Constable of Essex is to review the use of speed cameras in the county. Roger Baker took over from David Stevens in July 2005. The ABD supports this review and looks forward to the new chief getting the police and public to work together, not against each other.

Press Expose Camera Lies
The EADT has exposed as a lie claims that the new speed cameras on the A12 are justified by accidents. They have obtained information that proves none of the accidents cited as justification for the cameras involved excesive speed.
EADT inquiry into speed camera site

The ABD has long known that many speed camera pratnerships use this tactic. It is evidenced by the fact that most refuse to give out data about accidents.
From April 2005, Essex Safety Camera Pratnership began conducting a money raising exercise by parking their cash machines on the Maldon Road bridge over the A12 Kelvedon bypass.
This is some distance after the stretch of the A12 that follows the line of the roman road, and has some frontages. It is this stretch that is likely to suffer accidents due to greater hazards.
Although the pratnership claimed the cameras were being placed in response to a number of accidents, they were unable to state the cause or location of those accidents when challenged to do so.
Placing cameras after a hazardous stretch of road, in a place where it is quite safe to increase speed, has nothing to do with road safety, it is a blatant extorion racket.
East Anglia Daily Times — Speed camera plan for A12
Faulty Gatso in London Road, Clacton?
Have you recently received a Notice of Intended Prosecution relating to the Gatso speed camera in London Road, Clacton on Sea?
Do you believe that you were not exceeding the 30mph speed limit at the time?
This speed camera has been observed malfunctioning between 19th April and 4th June 2004.
If you do not believe the prosecution is just, you should demand to see the photographic evidence.
In addition, please call a fellow victim on (01255) 674725 so he can establish how many people have been affected.
Essex Worst County For Speed Camera Abuse
Essex handed out 213,861 speeding fines in 2002, more than any other county in the country, and over 50,000 more than second place Lancashire. It is more than the total number of speeding fines issued in the whole of the UK in 1995!
"Essex came top of the country’s league table of fines in 2002 with 213,861 people fined — raising more than £12.8 million. The spokesman for the West Midlands Safety Camera Partnership partnership said it would never catch that many drivers because it kept to strict Government guidelines of only having cameras working in known accident blackspots."

The figure for 2003 hasn't been released but you can guarantee it won't have gone down. And the result of this relentless extortion racket? . . .
Road Deaths Increase by 26%
There were 116 deaths on Essex roads in 2003, an increase of 26% over 2002 with 92 deaths. With Essex being one of the most agressive users of speed cameras, it is clear that speed cameras have not only failed to reduce fatalities, the single-minded obesssion with 'speeding' has led to an increase in average fatalities per year.
There is, fortunately, light beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel. An Essex Police spokesman is quoted as saying about the fatal accidents "The vast majority are due to an error or misjudgment." — no mention of the word 'speed'. We can only hope that Essex Police will now withdraw their support for the speed camera racket, and return to proper policing of the roads.
Truth begins to seep out of quango
The Sunday Times has obtained detailed accounts for the Essex 'Safety' Camera Partnership for the financial year 2002-3. The 'Talivan' quango spent £5.15 million, equivalent to £100,000 for each of it's 51 cameras, and employs 53 people. The partnership is run by Atkins Highways and Transportation, described by the Sunday Times as 'a civil engineering consultancy' though we think the term 'parasite' might be more appropriate.
Reimbursement claims included:

Cartoon reproduced by courtesy of Hen the Pen.
Click to see the full size image.
After all this there was over a million pounds left over. It was simply 'carried over' to the next year. They could have spent it on road improvements, education, or providing every child in Essex with reflective arm-bands, but better not — they might need it for more interior decoration.
Criticism of Essex Safety Camera Partnership aside, we can praise them for one thing — at least they did publish their accounts, unlike certain other camera pratnerships who remain about as open as the KGB.
Essex was one of the original Police forces involved in the speed camera hypothecation trial of 1999–2000. To understand why Essex was chosen as one of the six 'trial' areas in England, see our ‘Rigging the Evidence’ page.  
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EADT = East Anglian Daily Times