THE people of Swindon should be consulted over plans to scrap speed cameras, according to an MP.
Michael Wills, North Swindon MP, has said he has concerns about “radical steps” which are expected to be given the green light by Swindon Council’s cabinet next week.
Councillors will meet on Wednesday to discuss proposals to withdraw from the Wiltshire and Swindon Speed Camera Partnership.
Mr Wills said: “I’m very concerned about this decision. All the evidence shows that speed cameras are effective in reducing road accidents.
“I have seen too many heartbreaking cases of people in Swindon whose loved ones have been killed or maimed by speeding drivers.
“I am surprised the council did not conduct a full and thorough consultation with the people of Swindon before taking such a radical step which could effect the lives of so many people.
“The council is now on trial to prove that the steps they say will improve road safety will be at least as effective and measures they have now removed.
“I very much hope they will pass this test they have set themselves as the lives of many people in Swindon depend on it.”
Peter Greenhalgh, Swindon Council’s lead member for highways, transport and strategic planning, hit back at the criticisms.
He said: “This is not a radical step – what we are doing is in response to an unbiased report.
“If we consulted on every single decision that was made we would be having votes every day.
“Michael Wills should concentrate on his own job of securing funding for Swindon, instead of criticising us.
“When was the last time he consulted the people on a decision made by his government?”
In response to the heated debate generated by the issue the Adver will run its own poll, to see if the people of Swindon agree with the recommendations.
From Saturday to Tuesday readers can vote online or via the paper to give their opinion on the speed camera debate.
Adver editor Dave King said: “This is a decision that affects everyone in Swindon and it is only right that the voice of the public is considered alongside the views of politicians.
“This is why I am urging all our readers to have their say on this issue when the Adver poll opens on Saturday.”
The results of the poll will be published on Wednesday in the run up to the cabinet meeting at 6.15pm, at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street.