AVERAGE speed cameras on the M5 may be the bane of many motorists in Stroud but they could soon have an effect on speeding in the district.

Since 2012 the SPECS - speed limit enforcement camera system – on the motorway roadworks has generated around £270,000 for the police force through contractors’ payments.

In one of his first moves since being re-elected, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl has confirmed this money will go towards setting up a ‘Problem Solving Hub’.

This will fund applications from towns, parishes and other groups and organisations who have ideas to make the roads in their neighbourhood safer.

Around 50 town and parish councils have so far expressed an interest.

They will now be asked to make a formal application setting out their plans in more detail.

Mr Surl said: “I get more correspondence around road safety than anything else and it regularly cropped up when I talked to people during the election campaign.

“Safe and social driving remains one of my priorities. The SPECS money is a windfall I can use to invest in systems and partnerships that will enable us to tackle issues like speeding and hopefully come up with some new ideas to make our roads safer.

“Every parish and town council in the county was invited to bid when the idea was launched and there’s been a good response.

“My commissioning team will now be in touch with those who have come forward so I hope we can really get moving on this”.

A good example of this was the automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) - installed on the A46 near Stroud.

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The sophisticated camera has been monitoring vehicles travelling through Rodborough between Nailsworth and Stroud for 11 weeks.

This initiative was funded by the Commissioner’s Fund and Rodborough Parish Council, and led by the Rodborough Road Safety Working Group.

Unlike conventional ‘speed cameras’ the sophisticated ANPR has been recording vehicles’ speed, number plate, time, date and photographs them.

This means the software can also record dates which can be used to identify persistent speeders who would be given a warning by letter. In the most extreme cases speeding will result in a visit from the police.

The mobile camera has been sited outside the Stroud Enterprise Centre on the 30 mph section of the Bath Road since February 26.

During this time it has clocked thousands of speeders passing both ways through the 30mph zone.

Chair of the Rodborough Road Safety Working Group, Charles Pederick, and his small team have been working in partnership with Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to pilot the new technology.

He said the camera has already had an unprecedented effect on reducing speeding and making the community a safer place to live.

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"We had already put in a lot of work and carried out a great deal of research but we could not have go there without the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner and his office,” he said.

"The ANPR camera has really started to make a big difference to the community living in this area and the Rodborough Road Safety Group will be trialling it in other parts of our Parish in the coming months to assess its effectiveness elsewhere.

"The system we have may not be suitable everywhere but I would recommend as many parishes as possible come up with their own ideas as it will benefit the county as a whole".