Speed cameras in Preston
The request was refused by Lancashire County Council.
From: sophie wyllie
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am a trainee journalist how many Gatso speed cameras are in
Preston and how many are actually working?
From: Freedom of Information
Lancashire County Council
Dear Ms Wyllie,
Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
We are writing further to your email, dated 9^th February 2009, in which
you request the disclosure of information regarding `speed cameras' under
the provisions of the above Act, as we are now in a position to respond.
The number of safety camera housings in the Preston area is available from
the website of the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety at the following
Select `Preston' in the `Choose a district' drop-down box to show those in
the Preston area. Similarly, the number in other areas can be shown by
selecting the relevant district from the drop-down box.
Locations are also available to display on a map; this facility can be
accessed at the following URL: http://www.safe2travel.co.uk/cameras.asp
- again, select `Preston' in the `Choose a district' drop-down box to
show those in the Preston area.
Although the County Council does hold information about the number of
cameras that are operational at any given time, this information is exempt
from disclosure by virtue of Section 31 (law enforcement) and Section 38
(healthy and safety) of the Freedom of Information Act.
Subject to the application of a public interest test, section 31 of the
Act provides that information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would
be likely, to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, or the
apprehension or prosecution of offenders. Similarly, section 38 provides
that information may be withheld, subject to a public interest test, in
situations where disclosure would, or would be likely to, endanger the
safety of any individual.
Having considered the information requested, it has been concluded that
the exemption afforded by sections 31(1)(a) and 31(1)(b) of the Freedom of
Information Act does apply, as disclosure would, or would be likely to,
prejudice the prevention or detection of speeding offences and the
apprehension or prosecution of those committing such offences. In
addition, the exemption under section 38(1)(b) of the Act is engaged, as
disclosure would, or would be likely to, endanger the safety of road users
We are suitably convinced by the argument that if such information were to
be released into the public domain, certain individuals may well use it to
draw conclusions about the likelihood of speeding offences being detected
at different times by cameras at this site. This would render the camera
deployment less effective; and any lessening of the deterrent effect of
such cameras would consequently be likely to present a direct threat to
the safety of road users and could result in an increase in the number of
casualties caused by speeding vehicles.
In considering the public interest test, we acknowledge that, as a general
principle, there is a strong public interest in public authorities being
as open and transparent as possible. However, this principle needs to be
balanced in this case against the need to enforce the law and to improve
the safety of the roads for the public at large by ensuring that effective
measures are taken to reduce the risks caused by excessive speed.
On this occasion, it is considered that in all the circumstances of the
case the greater public interest lies in withholding the information you
have asked for, and as such, this aspect of your request is refused at
In the event that you wish to complain about the manner in which your
enquiry has been handled, you should write in the first instance to The
Freedom of Information Officer, Lancashire County Council, PO Box 78,
County Hall, Preston PR1 8XJ, or email
[Lancashire County Council request email]
If, after this stage, you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer
the matter to the Information Commissioner, whose contact details are as
The Information Commissioner
Tel: 01625 545700
Email: [email address]
If you have any queries regarding our response, or you require any
additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Freedom of Information
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 78
Tel: (01772) 531116
Fax: (01772) 530949
Email: [Lancashire County Council request email]
A 4-star council: awarded top marks by the Audit Commission
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