Speeding prosecutions across Hyndburn have dropped by more than a third after four fixed speed cameras were taken out of action, new figures reveal.
Exclusive police statistics released to the Observer show the number of active fixed cameras dropped from 10 in 2016 to just six last year.
Road safety campaigners say it is a ‘sad state of affairs’ as the reduction has seen prosecutions for motorists speeding in the borough drop from 291 in 2016 to just 188 last year.
Lancashire Police say they are upgrading their fixed sites to accept ‘digitised cameras’ and some sites have not been in use while they wait for replacements.
Altham parish councillor and ‘Road Watch’ campaigner Rennie Pinder said he was ‘surprised’ by the number inactive cameras and fears fewer speeding motorists are being caught.
He said: “All it tell us is the cameras that aren’t working aren’t catching the speeders.
“It appears that they were fairly stable at around the 290-mark in 2015 and 2016. By taking four cameras out that’s caused the drop.
“We are still very active with our community speed awareness cameras and we haven’t seen a drop in speeding.
“It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m surprised [by the number of inactive cameras] because I thought all the cameras across Lancashire had been digitised three or four years ago.”
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said speeding is a ‘continuous problem’ but warned the current state of the borough’s roads is also causing safety concerns.
He said: “One of the major concerns within our townships is the speed of motor vehicles going through them.
“We would want drivers to respect the speed limit but unfortunately there are a minority that don’t.
“They need to be severely fined and have points on their licence.
“At the same time we can see the deterioration of our roads with the number of potholes.”
Nearly 800 drivers have been caught speeding across Hyndburn in the last three years, with the highest speed recorded being 81mph.
In 2015 and 2016 the A680 Manchester Road camera near Alliance Street in Baxenden saw 126 and 159 detections respectively.
Last year it was overtaken by the B6231 New Lane camera near Grove Street in Oswaldtwistle, which registered 74 detections.
‘We’re committed to road safety’ – police
Lancashire Police said they ‘remain committed to making the county’s roads safer by reducing casualties and targeting criminals’.
In response to the figures a spokesman explained: “During 2016 and 2017 we upgraded our fixed sites to accept new digitised cameras.
"This often requires a new position, new check marks and each site to be re-commissioned.
“While replacements have been arranged with the local authority and supplier, some sites have not been in use.
“This has in part led to a reduction in figures.
“As a force we remain committed to making the county safer by reducing casualties, targeting criminals and increasing confidence.
“In the past year we have introduced average speed cameras on eight routes in the county in a bid to cut down on the number of road casualties.
“The introduction of the system is intended to positively influence driver behaviour and ensure that motorists comply with the set limits on roads, resulting in a safer environment for all road users.”