Calls for average speed cameras to address scourge of speeding and dangerous driving

Calls have been made for the introduction of average speed cameras on some Bolton roads to combat speeding and dangerous driving.

Suggestions have been made that Blackburn Road, from the border with Darwen to its junction with Crompton Way would be suitable for average speed monitoring. At a full council meeting last week, Bromley Cross councillor Amy Cowan said some main routes in Bolton should ‘mimic’ a scheme introduced in Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire in 2017 which runs on the A675 between the M65 at junction 3 and the border of Bolton borough at Scout Road.

That route imposes average speeds of 50mph on rural sections and 30mph through Belmont village. Coun Cowan, said: “Road traffic accidents, speeding and general dangerous driving affect the whole of the borough.

“In my ward and across the borough we are seeing more and more road traffic accidents, often as a result of speeding, aggressive driving and drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs. “Do we have any plans for the introduction of average speed cameras along the more dangerous stretches of road?

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“For example it would be possible to mimic the system in place through Belmont to the M65 junction from say Bull Hill or the border with Blackburn with Darwen through Blackburn Road down to the junction with Crompton Way.

“There are also many other stretches of road which would benefit from this.”

Replying to the question, cabinet member Coun Adele Warren, said the possibility of average speed cameras in Bolton was being talked about.

She said: “For average speed cameras there is a project being considered for Greater Manchester safety camera upgrades. Part of this will consider the average use speed camera technology where appropriate.

“It is my understanding that how the system works best on routes with a low number of side road junctions and high levels of through traffic.
“Any routes would of course need to be fully contained in Greater Manchester as cross boundary proposals for example Bolton to Lancs would bring into play separate ticketing and back office roles which I do not believe are compatible at this time.”

Last year Bolton Council passed a motion expressing its serious concern about ‘speeding cars and reckless driving within the borough,
which is continually leading to needless loss of life resulting in devastating damage to families and communities’. That move came in the aftermath of the death of Gay Wharton, the much-loved former Mayoress of Bolton, who died after being struck by a speeding car on Chorley New Road in November, 2020.

Charity volunteer Mrs Wharton was mayors of the borough of Bolton alongside 2014 mayor Coun Martin Donaghy and a second mayors Jacqueline Tracey.
Coun Donaghy seconded the motion, which called for the roll out of Community Speedwatch initiatives in Bolton.

During that debate, councilors from all political parties said they had received a much increased volume of complaints about speeding and dangerous driving in recent months.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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