Herts County Council have been accused of refusing to hand over information from ‘speed indicator devices’ to the police – despite a number of requests.
The devices, known as SIDs, tell motorists whether they are driving within the speed limit or going too fast – by presenting a smiley or sad face.
Lib Dem Sara Bedford told a meeting of the council last week that the devices would give police a good picture of where motorists were speeding and at what time of day.
But she said that the council had turned down at least three requests for the information from police.
She told the council: “One of the best tools the public have to hold us to account and ensure transparency is the Freedom of Information Act .
“However it appears that the council is not keeping within the spirit of the act.
“A number of us installed SIDs in our divisions as an aid to road safety – and very popular they are too.”
She added: “As well as a visual reminder to slow down the SIDs store anonymised data on traffic speed which is very helpful to local groups, residents and traffic police.
“Yet HCC will not release this data claiming that it does not hold the information – because it has not yet been downloaded.
“This is disingenuous in the extreme and being used as a way of denying this useful data to other authorities, the police and residents.
Cllr Ralph Sangster, executive member for resources and performance, suggested some possible explanations.
He suggested that there may have been some serious concerns abut the quality of the data contained in the current SIDs system and that it may be that the existing policy is not to release “poor information”.
But he said he would take this up with the executive member for highways Cllr Phil Bibby and respond further.