A speed camera in Brighton could soon rake in more than £1million thanks to a change of speed limit.

The camera on the A270 Lewes Road will be turned back on next month after being out of action since the end of last year as part speed limit changes.

Motoring campaigners have argued the speed limit change from 40mph to 30mph will create a “cash cow” in newly-issued fines for unsuspecting drivers.

The speed camera has been hooded since December 15 in preparation for extending the 30mph zone further along the dual carriageway.

Councillors say the changes, which are part of a city-wide speed limit review, have been well-advertised and are being brought in for safety reasons.

In 2010, a change in speed limits along a stretch of the A22 Eastbourne Road in Halland near Lewes created the most lucrative speed camera in the whole county with a 10,000% increase in speeding fines.

Commuters had been given a six-month period to adjust but 3,500 drivers were fined in just 12 months compared to just 33 people the previous year.

If that increase was replicated along the much busier Lewes Road, 20,000 motorists could come a cropper annually raising £1.2million in fines.

All revenue from speed camera fines is collected by the Treasury and redistributed.

Steve Percy, from the People’s Parking Protest, said: “Drivers are creatures of habit and many people have been driving along the road for many years so any changes need to have big signs to make it absolutely clear to drivers."

Councillor Ian Davey, cabinet member for transport and the public realm, said four temporary red signs had been installed to warn motorists.

Speed limit signs had been installed at the start of the new limit on January 18 when the limit officially changed and yellow “now 30” signs were also added last week.

He added: “Lowering of the speed limit along this stretch of road has been done for safety reasons, at the request of local people, and to make the area more comfortable for all road users, including motorists.

“It is not designed to catch anyone out and the safety camera will not be re-instated until users have had the opportunity to get used to the new limit.”

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