Anthony Martindale, 63, is determined to fight his corner over what he perceives as an injustice after falling foul of average speed cameras twice on the same day. He was travelling along the A55 between Abergwyngregyn and Talybont in north Wales but one stretch of road was reduced from 70mph to 40mph, due to narrow lanes in roadworks, and Anthony was caught travelling at 46mph – and 50mph on the return leg.
Since then, the granddad has waged a one-man war to get his fines overturned – and those of other drivers fined on the same stretch.
He was driving on February 6 and so, as it was a Sunday, there no construction work was taking place. Anthony feels therefore there was no threat to workers and that speed curbs should have been lifted.
Speaking to North Wales Live, the motorist said: “It’s a matter of principle. I want justice to be done.”
Anthony has written to MPs, lobbied North Wales Police (NWP) and contacted the Department of Transport since receiving the fines. He’s fired off letters to newspapers, written to the Welsh Government and submitted Freedom of Information requests.
These revealed that, on six weekends at the start of this year, a total of 815 drivers were caught speeding on the same stretch of the A55. Critically, no one was fined the weekend of February 19-20 because all temporary signs were removed in case they posed a danger during Storm Franklin.
The motorist, originally from Wallasey, Merseyside, said: “If it was safe enough to have the signs taken down during a severe weather warning, allowing the traffic to resume normal speeds of 70mph, then surely the ‘narrow lanes’ excuse can no longer be used as a reason for fining motorists.? Why was it not safe when I was doing 46mph and 50mph under normal conditions?
“Having had the signs taken down, did NWP not have a duty of care towards the motorist? Should they not have consulted with the construction company to have the signs made more secure rather than having them removed?
“Still, when you drive right along the A55 at 70mph, apart from the bit at Colwyn Bay, it’s quite a shock to suddenly hit 40mph, especially when no one is working on the road. I am terrified at the thought of taking this to court – but I am prepared to do it. I am determined they won’t get away with it.”
Another Freedom of Information Request has shed more light on the effectiveness of average speed cameras on this stretch of the A55. In the 13 months since the cameras went live, on March 1, 2021, a total of 21,229 “violations” were detected on the two carriageways.
Of these, 13,064 NIPs (Notice of Intended Prosecution) were issued. One offender was registered at 93mph and is being taken to court.