Stop cars using Lindisfarne causeway at high tide
Motorists trying to cross the causeway during times when it is not safe to cross. Drivers have become stranded a remarkable 15 times so far in 2011, and almost 180 times since 2000.
Traffic Lights monitored by ANPR camera. £1000 fine for attempting to cross at 'unsafe' times. LED sign giving next safe crossing time or saying 'safe to cross' when crossing open.
Started 94 weeks 2 days ago
AlanBeithMP - Date posted: 30 Aug 2011 03:48Thank you for all your comments. As you may know I attended a meeting on Holy Island last week which was organised by the local Liberal Dmeocrat Councillor, Dougie Watkin.
No vehicles are currently charged when they become trapped with a cost of thousands to the RNLI and coast guard services.
The water depth gauge would then assess whether it is safe to cross or not (i.e. a vehicle would be distressed and the occupants require rescue) due to the volume of water covering the causeway. This volume of water which covers the causeway alters with every tide therefore simple high tide times will not function.
When it is unsafe to cross the sign would illuminate clearing telling people not to and to fine them if an attempt was made (to stop people trying and saving the RNLI and Coast Guard having to be called out) You could also make exceptions to the ANPR system for resuce vehicles etc if needed.
This is a really easy sytem to implement and use and only fines drivers who try to cross when it is not possible as over 15 have done this year and been trapped and had the Coast Guard and RNLI involved to help.
Ah my mistake then I thought they were charged. Sure they were once.... but it may be that the university fined them for it.
In that case the option is to have people who are rescued charged.
You have no need to install a camera. If its only fining people who cross when its too deep then these are the same people who will need rescuing and the cameras are pointless
There are also legal jurisdictional problems with attempting to fine people on a causeway who cause no issue.
YOu seem to be assuming that people who wilfully ignore the current signs will somehow pay attention to your new sign?
I thought they would of been fined to until I found out they weren't and the cost to the public and the RNLI.
I'm sure local jurisdiction could be implimeneted to deal with the causeway, (similar to congestion charges in cities as it is the only causeway in the local area). The reason for the fine by the camera is for the reason that if people don't read the sign then they are dealt with even if they don't need rescuing as they have potential caused a very serious accident and not followed the law, common sense is lost on some people but they seem to find it when the prospect of a fine of £1000's is put in front of them for their actions.
We all know people ignore the warning signs (15 this year) but we need to find a way to stop them attempting to cross when unsafe to do so.
Interesting! Maybe they used to be fined years ago...thats why we both thought that..... the coast guard do charge people for some things. Same way the fire service charges for horse rescues and stuff. I can see these rescues might not count though.
I think the issue with jurisdiction is that the causeway is technically not on 'land' and therefore not neccessarily under full crown jurisdiction. Hence the difficulty legislating.
Yeh 1000s of pounds fine might work, but when people are happy to trash their ten grand car...
But yeh given what you say...if you can do it cheaply with an ANPR it seems logical....it would also provide data on the amount of use and so forth the causeway got.
I used to work for Northumberland County Council (1972-85) and I knew the team who wrote the computer program that calculates the tide tables, in fact I still see one of them for the odd drink and last time we chatted about the latest strandings.
The tables are calculated many months in advance and assume the worst possible conditions, which I understand is low pressure and an onshore wind. On more normal days you can safely cross 30 or even 45 minutes into the time the causeway is "closed". The islanders know this as more generally do local people. I have seen council wagons on the island at a time when they must have crossed when the tide tables warn against it. It is of course much safer to cross as the tide is going out than when it is coming in.
The island shops can rely on getting their early morning supplies by crossing in the debatable times, and I would be opposed to traffic lights based on a tide table calculated in advance. Something based on a depth gauge might be helpful, but vehicles and driving techniques vary. A high wheel clearance truck driven slowly will get through when a car driven fast will set up waves to flood the engine.
There should be a no-tolerance policy on this with significant charges for people who transgress. Automatic fines are essential to stop these idiots. Not only are they piutting their own lives at risk, but also the rescue service who go out to deal with them.
I don't get the issue about supplies to shops etc. People on the island know what the times are (or they shouldn't live there), and there is something called 'planning in advance'.
I also traffic barriers that close triggered by depth sensors would be the best solution. I wonder if anyone from Nothumberland has supported this campaign? If anyone know people from around the area, could you forward the campaign to them. It would be good to get some local contribution to the debate.
To reply to Barnacle, although like you I'm in Durham City, I have spent a week on Holy Island every June for the past few years and before that would visit once or twice a year since the early 1970s. My comments were based on that knowledge, and also on seeing when the local shops get the daily papers (which they pick up from a drop-off on the A1).
If you look at the head of this page you will see that most of the voters are in Berwick-upon-Tweed even if they have not commented.
The idea of using a ANPR camera is that it can distiguish between the cars of local residents and those locals that know how to cross when there is water on the causeway could be excluded from being fined as this can all be set-up in advance and should be set-up in co-operation with them to ensure they are not targeted by the fines. I'm sure the local residents know better then anybody else when the causeway is safe.
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