Transport for Greater Manchester promises funding to improve road safety cameras following an increase in speeding across the region

  • Council report estimates nearly 50% of vehicles on Greater Manchester’s roads travel above speed limit
  • Council pledges to work with the police to assess need for new safety cameras 
  • Councillor says funding needed to improve non-functioning cameras 
  • Dysfunctional cameras set to be assessed after funding is granted

Councillors on Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) transport committee heard that funding will be provided for broken road safety cameras to be repaired.

Laying out the meeting’s road safety update, TfGM’s Head of Highways Peter Boulton said: “There was a reduction in traffic in 2020, but because traffic was more free-flowing there was an increase in speeding.

Infographic showing the increase in speeding across GM  Source: Transport for Greater Manchester 

He said: “The Department for Transport are currently reviewing the document they received to request the need for new safety cameras [for Greater Manchester].”

Councillor Howard Sykes said it was important to repair cameras currently out-of-order across the region before looking at installing new ones.

“It’s that thing I’ve spoken about probably 18 months ago now,” he said.

“We’ve got a number of speed cameras, not interested in new ones, but the ones that are currently in place that are actually non-functional.

“There are certainly two if not three I know of in my patch which have not worked for many months, if not years.

“People are now familiar with that and now ignore the reason they were placed there which is to save lives.

“Have we yet got a programme where we are going to digitalise our existing speed cameras before we start looking at having some new ones?

“When are we going to do it and if not, why not?”

In answer, Mr Boulton stated: “Good news, we have funding for digitalising the road safety cameras.

“We have secured funding and are currently going through the process.

“We are looking at the process of procurement and the intention is that we will start procurement this autumn.”  

Asked how he felt upon hearing this news, Councillor Sykes told the Northern Quota after the meeting: “I thought I was going to get another fob-off answer, because that’s what I’ve had for years.

“When they said ‘I’m pleased to tell you we’ve got some funding for it and we’re about to procure it’, I got a bit giddy.

“Now we’ve actually got the money, we need to get on with it quickly so I shall continue to ask questions about it.”

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Howard Sykes

Councillor Sykes said the issue had been raised at a number of meetings over the years but he had “got nowhere”.

He told NQ: “Two or three years ago, they had no budget to do it.

“I just kept bringing it up because there are really good reasons why we put road safety cameras in, whether it’s people in cars or pedestrians at risk.” 

Councillor Sykes thought the pressure he put on the council, which he described as him ‘being extremely vocal’, was what moved the issue to the top of the agenda. 

Transport for Greater Manchester estimate that all road safety cameras across the region are expected to be restored to working order and fully digitalised by April 2022.