Half of Wigan speed cameras don’t catch anyone

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MORE than half of Wigan’s speed cameras didn’t catch anyone last year.

Whether that is because there are very obedient motorists in the neighbourhood or because there isn’t always an operational device inside the roadside traps, the authorities won’t say.

But the fact remains that eight out of the total 15 fixed devices on roads around the borough did not record a single person speeding in the entire year.

The cameras are located on Wallgate; Whelley, Whelley; Spring Road, Kitt Green; and both St Helens Road and New Barn Lane in Leigh. The remainder are all in Ashton: two on Wigan Road, another on Bryn Road, and one more on Bolton Road.

In June, the Wigan Evening Post reported that more than a third of speed cameras in Lancashire did not work, with 16 of a total 43 “mothballed due to faults.”

But Greater Manchester’s casualty reduction partnership Drive Safe says it may be due to people abiding by the speed limits in those areas and motorists shouldn’t be lulled into thinking these are no longer operational speed traps.

A spokesman said: “The behaviour and attitude of some drivers on Greater Manchester roads can have traumatic effects on other road users.

“Speed is one of the main factors in road fatalities and serious injuries, and just travelling over the speed limit can lead to devastating consequences.

“The primary objective for safety camera deployment is to reduce the number of people killed and injured on the roads by preventing and detecting offences and enforcing speed limits.

“At some camera locations where few or no offences have been recorded it can be that drivers are complying with the speed limit, seeing the camera and slowing down or that drivers become more cautious when driving in areas where there are safety cameras.

“Safety cameras can improve driver behaviour and result in safer roads.”

The busiest camera in the borough with 577 offences in 2014 processed is on Manchester Road, Astley.

The figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, also shows that the fastest person caught speeding by a fixed camera was travelling at a whopping 93mph in a 50 zone.

While it falls outside the Greater Manchester boundary, the most notorious camera for local motorists usually proves to be the one on the far side of Parbold Hill which annually snares them in four-figure numbers.

Road safety charity Brake believes more traffic enforcement measures are needed to stop drivers from speeding.

Spokesman Gary Rae said: “Speeding drivers risk not only their own lives but the lives of all those around them.

“At Brake, we see every day the devastating impact road crashes caused by speeding have on local communities.

“That’s why we need traffic enforcement to be made a national policing priority, as well as higher on-the-spot fines, enforcement cameras, and tougher sentencing to provide a real deterrent to risky law-breaking drivers.”

It is a similar picture when it comes to red light cameras with four out of the borough’s seven cameras recording no offences in 2014.