‘Most speed cameras are cash cows’ says MP

19/3/11'Mike Penning, left, on his Triumph 900 Speedmaster and Trevor Denham on his Harley Davidson 883 at Motorbike Graveyard, Chaulden, Hemel Hempstead.
19/3/11'Mike Penning, left, on his Triumph 900 Speedmaster and Trevor Denham on his Harley Davidson 883 at Motorbike Graveyard, Chaulden, Hemel Hempstead.

HIGHWAYS chiefs in Herts have failed to hit a deadline set by roads minister and Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning to publish data about speed cameras.

Herts County Council was told to reveal accident and prosecution rates at camera spots to show which are reducing crashes and which are merely making money.

So far 75 authorities across the country have published the information but another 75 failed to do so by last week’s deadline.

Mr Penning said: “Herts is one of the ones that haven’t. I’ve said publish by the end of September otherwise I will be out there saying: ‘Why aren’t you being honest with motorists about what’s going on?’”

The minister said the data collected so far showed the majority of cameras were ‘cash cows’.

“At the moment it looks like the largest group is where there were no accidents before the cameras have been installed and there’s still no accidents but there are lots of fines,” Mr Penning said.

“Motorists have felt that cameras have been used as cash cows and the evidence is out that they have been right.

“This is the next stage in stopping the war against the motorist.”

The MP said he was aware of one camera at Queensway in Hemel Hempstead that had caused rather than prevented accidents. “I’ve seen accidents where people pull out of Allandale and collide with cars accelerating away from the camera,” he said.

Herts County Council spokesman Andrew Dawson said: “We are responding to the request from the Department for Transport and we are collating the data. We will get that to them as soon as possible.”