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Drivers say trees tricked them into speed camera fine

The camera has caught out nearly 1,000 drivers since February. Credit: ITV News

Angry drivers are claiming a council speed camera is catching out some motorists because it is obscured by trees.

The camera, at Saltford between Bristol and Bath, is owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council, and police have penalised nearly 1,000 drivers in the first six weeks since it was switched back on in February.

Some feel a lack of visibility makes their £100 fine and three penalty points notice unjustified.

I don't think it's really fair. They should put their cameras in a wide area, in a clear area so people can really see it, if they're concerned about the safety of the public in that area.

– Adel Shahin, motorist
Credit: ITV News
Though clearly visible from the opposite side of the road, the camera is obscured by foliage as you leave Saltford - the side where it is active. Credit: ITV News

Bath and North East Somerset Council say it should be obvious that there is a speed camera in that location.

The camera is operated by Avon & Somerset Police who issue penalty notices to people exceeding the speed limit.

There is a speed camera warning sign and the camera is within a clearly-marked 30mph area; there are also clear markings on the road next to it.

We have received one complaint about the visibility of this camera and we are currently looking into this.

– Bath and North East Somerset Council

We'll be speaking to a lawyer on tonight's ITV News West Country to find out if unhappy drivers have a case. Tune in from 6pm.

No need to claim for bus parking penalty

Following the news that motorists caught in Bath's controversial Dorchester Street bus lane are to get their tickets refunded, BANES Council says there is no need to do anything to claim the refund:

Please note there is no need to contact the Council directly – you will automatically receive a refund. Anybody who has already paid by card will have their payment refunded directly back onto their card, and we are working on issuing refunds for payments made in cash. All pending Penalty Charge Notices will be cancelled.”

– BANES Council


Homes to be built on Green Belt land around Bath

Thousands of homes are to be built on Green Belt land around Bath.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has approved plans for 12,700 homes to be built on greenfield and brownfield sites by 2029.

The original proposals were for 11,500 homes, but a government planning inspector decided this figure did not meet the area's future needs.

Extra homes could now be built in the following areas:

  • Odd Down, Bath: 300 homes
  • Weston, Bath: 300 homes
  • Extension to MoD Ensleigh: 120 homes
  • East Keynsham: 250 homes
  • South West Keynsham: 200 homes
  • Whitchurch: 200 homes

A public consultation will be held for a six week period later this month.

Horse meat found in BANES school meals

Tests have confirmed that beef mince used for school meals in Bath and North East Somerset in December contained horsemeat.

The meat came from the supplier Welsh Bros Foods. 49 primary schools and 10 early years centres used the mince.

The council has now withdrawn all products from the supplier and beef mince has been removed from school menus.

The Food Standards Agency says there's no evidence of any risk to consumers.

Illegal tobacco fuels organised crime

A massive trade in illegal tobacco is helping to fuel organised crime across the South West.

New research shows 1 in 5 South West smokers are happy to buy "bootleg tobacco".

The illicit activity costs the exchequer billions of pounds, but now customs officers, the police and trading standards are joining forces with Smokefree South West to tackle the problem.

A third of BANES smokers buy illegal tobacco

More than a third of smokers in Bath and North East Somerset admit buying illegal tobacco with one in five across the west saying they've bought bootleg supplies.

The shock findings come on the day the police and revenue and customs launch a fresh crackdown on the illegal trade which is often linked to organised crime.

Bob Gaiger is from HM Revenue & Customs:


Smokers admit to buying illegal tobacco

Seized money, cigarettes and tobacco Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

More than a third of smokers in Bath and North East Somerset admit they've bought illegal tobacco, the highest in the region.

The survey findings coincide with a new crackdown on bootleg tobacco which police say is often linked to organised crime and costs the exchequer almost two billion pounds in lost revenue each year.

Across the South West one in five smokers say they've bought illegal tobacco.

Campaign to ensure child restraints are fitted safely

Parents in Bath and North East Somerset will be shown how to install a child's car seat. Credit: ITV West

Parents in Bath and North East Somerset are to be shown how to properly install a child's car seat.

It's part of a new campaign to make sure babies and children are safely restrained when travelling.

Parents can go to car clinics where experts will check the fit of the safety seat.