Secrecy over speed camera criteria “is something North Korea would be very proud of”

The Oldham Liberal Democrats want to see some action to bring speed cameras back into use and more transparency over where they are sited and how they are funded.

At present officers from GM Councils, the Greater Manchester Police and Transport for Greater Manchester meet to discuss speed cameras, with elected councillors having no say in decision making; a situation that Oldham Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has described as “something North Korea would be very proud of.”

Howard Sykes

Councillor Sykes has written to Eamonn Boylan, the Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, asking him to ensure that all existing speed cameras are functional and recording traffic violations as they happen, and that they be upgraded to incorporate the latest digital technology.

Councillor Sykes also wants to see more money being made available to site further cameras at accident blackspots. He last raised the issue in November 2019 and is demanding to know what if any action has been taken.

Councillor Sykes explained: “Now that people are going back to work or taking children to school, traffic on our roads is increasing, and so drivers, passengers and pedestrians are more likely to be involved in an accident. Yet we have the situation across Greater Manchester where for many months (or years) traffic cameras have not been working, and so speeding drivers have got off scot-free. Or there are situations where a speed camera is desperately needed to act as a deterrent to bad driving.”

In his letter to Mr Boylan, Councillor Sykes also raises a second concern – that there is no input into decision making by elected councillors and no transparency or accountability from the officers who currently make the decisions.

Councillor Sykes hopes that his letter, a copy of which has also been sent to the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, will shake up the system and get some action.

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