Popular Lincs riding road grapples with speed camera scurge: Wilingham Woods riders respond

Willingham woods layby
Willingham woods layby

A Lincolnshire road leading to popular biker meeting spot Willingham Woods has been hit with the installation of fixed average speed cameras and a limit reduction from 60mph to 50mph, with some saying they’ll no longer visit the area.

Located just outside Market Rasen, the woodland’s carpark has been a popular haunt for many years, with a regular bike night on Wednesdays attracting hundreds of riders in peak season.

Accessed via a layby just off the A631 between Market Rasen and Louth, it features a long stretch of tarmac often filled to the brim with bikes, with a small kiosk serving hot and cold drinks and snacks to visitors.

Willingham Woods speed camera

However, at the end of last year the speed limit on this section of the A631 was reduced from to 50mph and average speed cameras were installed as part of a new road safety scheme.

The changes came as part of a wider scheme funded by central Government to improve road safety in the county as directed by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, a body made up of Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Highways England, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, and the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

“This was a stretch of highway that was identified nationally as having a higher than average number of collisions resulting in personal injury, and therefore attracted funding from the Department for Transport for a package of measures covering this and three other routes in Lincolnshire,” Simon Outen-Coe from the partnership told MCN.

Willingham Woods parking

“These are the A18, A1084 and the A631 from Middle Rasen to Bishops Bridge and the A631 from Louth to Middle Rasen. The package for this stretch of road has encompassed a review of the speed limit, an average speed camera system and work by County Highways.”

He continued: “Most riders, myself included, enjoy riding safely on the roads of Lincolnshire and are acutely aware of the vulnerabilities associated with riding motorcycles. 

“Unfortunately a small minority ride in such a way as they not only endanger themselves but also other road users, resulting in the requirement for enforcement activity to address the most extreme activities that have been witnessed.”

Bikes parked at Willingham woods

However, when MCN asked local bikers for their views, the huge response ranged from anger and suspicion, to resigned inevitability due to reported incidents of speeding and pulling wheelies, to despair, with some saying they’d now no longer visit the site.

Commenting via the Lincolnshire Bikers Facebook group, Kevin Tallon told MCN: “A ludicrous waste of taxpayers’ money unlikely to save lives but if I was cynical, I would suggest it is about raising revenue.”

On the flipside, Michelle Gardner added: “It’s hardly a surprise given the behaviour of a few who speed and wheelie and the fact the videos are shared on social media for all, including the authorities to see”.