POLICE have agreed to mount unmarked regular spot surveillance on motorists using a notorious Wigan junction.
From the New Year following a safety summit meeting with Coun George Fairhurst GMP’s traffic division will monitor the actions of drivers using the crossroads at the heart of Standish village.
Coun Fairhurst asked for talks after noticing that some drivers are still risking colliding with shoppers and children by illegally turning left into High Street from Market Street towards Wigan and right from High Street into Market Street.
In doing so they are ignoring warning signs on posts, a built out curb and large warning notices painted onto the carriageway itself.
George, himself a grandfather, said that he spent several hours monitoring the situation from the entrance of the Royal Bank of Scotland alongside the council’s lollipop man.
And he was horrified by incidents he witnessed, despite the plethora of warnings and safety measures in place.
Late last year his campaigning persuaded the town hall’s road safety department to mount a temporary CCTV camera high above the junction so that ‘legally viable’ images could be sent to police with a promise of potential prosecution.
Coun Fairhurst believes that cars and vans turning across pedestrians are doing so primarily out of laziness.
He believes that they are locals who want to drive to Wigan but have found themselves in the wrong lane and then take a chance despite knowing the manoeuvre is banned.
Drivers prosecuted by police for ignoring the ‘no left turn’ sign risk being found guilty of Driving Without Due Care and Attention, an appearance in the Magistrates Court and having to pay greater motoring insurance premiums, he said.
The junction has already seen one fatality when a pedestrian died under the wheels of a lorry.
He said: “If the police start sending out summonses to drivers who think that they have got away with it, word will soon start getting around among residents that it is not worth taking the risk.
“I had a safety summit with the leaders of the GMP traffic division for the county and they have agreed to send unmarked cars to mount surveillance of the cross roads. They will be looking for drivers performing an illegal move and they will prosecute them.
“They are not saying when they will be there and how long they will be there for at any one time.
“But the message is that they will be there and if these idiots want to keep threatening pedestrians then they will also be playing Russian roulette over whether they find themselves being prosecuted or not. At the end of the day these idiots don’t give a monkeys unless it hit them in their pocket and hopefully that is what they are now going to find happening.
“I was disappointed when the CCTV camera was removed after the end of the programme but this commitment from the traffic police can be just as effective because drivers really won’t know who is watching them.