Itís official: no new cameras
By Ben Hewes

LANCASHIRE motorists will not have to run the gauntlet of any new speed cameras this year, it has been revealed.

The Department of Transport has officially given the green light to proposed camera changes submitted by speed camera partnerships across the country.

But in Lancashire, where the Partnership for Road Safety runs 293 fixed cameras, this year no new cameras will be installed, and none removed.

Today the organisation claimed Lancashire had reached the point where no new cameras were needed, and the criteria for installing cameras such as the number of road deaths were not met on any more of the county's roads.

Communications manager Linda Sanderson said: "We continually assess the information on all speed cameras we have across the county.

"We didn't deem it necessary to put any more in.

"Currently under the guidelines for the installation none of these sites fall into these guidelines, so we couldn't put a camera in place.

"We have to justify installing a camera, for instance if there are so many fatalities in that area. Currently we don't have that."

In London 21 new cameras are being installed over the next 12 months, and in some areas, including the West Midlands, a number of cameras are to be removed.

In recent years the county's partnership has been criticised after it was revealed the number of deaths on Lancashire's roads had not been reduced by the cameras.

It has also been criticised for its high number of cameras.

But the partnership, which estimates that its expenditure for 2006/07 to run the existing cameras will be £2,832,446, says other measures are to be looked at to continue to reduce speed in the county.

Mrs Sanderson said: "Some partnerships were only set up last year but we have been in place since 2001.

"We identified our cameras within the first two years of launching this partnership, but a lot of these other partnerships have only just come on board.

"They haven't got the number of cameras they feel appropriate.

"We are fortunate in Lancashire. We were in the initial roll-out following the government's eight pilot schemes.

"Our cameras went up and people said we had a large number.

"People are still prepared to speed and what we need to do is reduce the speed across the whole of the county."

7:00pm Thursday 4th May 2006