Speed cameras have clocked up 1m in profit
LANCASHIRE'S speed cameras have racked up 1m in profit and 2006 looks set to be even more lucrative for the roadside cash cows.
Motorists were today warned more mobile speed traps could be set up on the county's roads over the next 12 months.
Figures, just released by Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, show 1,019,910 profit was made between March 2004 and March 2005 one of only seven schemes in England and Wales to break the 1m mark.
While there are no plans to increase the 297 Gatso fixed cameras, the Partnership hopes to up the number of mobile cameras across the county.
Linda Sanderson from the partnership said: "We're looking at increasing the number of mobile sites when the public request them. We have a lot of public support on this as people want us to address speeding in their local area."
New guidelines from the Department of Transport are next week expected to ask partnerships to invest more money on education initiatives than speed cameras.
Mrs Sanderson added: "The Government is going to restrict the number of new cameras and ask to look at other areas of education and enforcement, something we have been doing for a long time.
"We run initiatives such as the speed awareness course, but also look at issues like drink- driving and wearing seatbelts. Prevention is far better than enforcement, but if people are not going to listen to the message and flout the law then they will be caught."
Nationally more than two million drivers were caught speeding in the last year, netting more than 17m.
Blackpool councillor Mary Smith, chairman of the scrutiny committee which analysed Blackpool's 50 cameras in a 2004 report, said the profits were getting ridiculous.
She said: "Lancashire motorists are getting a rough deal, especially in Blackpool where visitors could be forgiven for thinking we're a resort of cameras.
"The public is going to want to know exactly where this money is going. Speed cameras have become a standing joke and the profits they are making for the Government are getting ridiculous. It's about time people took a stand against this.
"I would like to see any money made in fines going on more traffic police."
heather.butler@blackpoolgazette.co.uk
29 December 2005