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Police M6 patrol hub at Samlesbury faces closure
3:31pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
LANCASHIRE police's dedicated motorway patrol hub near the M6 junction at Samlesbury is facing closure at the end of the year.
The proposal, part of the force’s £60 million cash-saving exercise, has raised fears over road safety.
The M65, M61, M6, M55 and M66 would be policed from the force's divisional stations with the Samlesbury building used for other purposes.
North West UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall said: “I am concerned about this.
“I have written to the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner asking for it to be reviewed.
“We all understand that financial times are difficult and savings have to be made but I am seeking reassurance that this plan has been properly thought through in the best interests of motorists.
“Motorway policing is a specialised and responsible role requiring experienced and dedicated officers.”
Lancashire's head of road policing Chief Inspector Debbie Howard said: “Lancashire Constabulary has recently reviewed roads policing as part of the on-going requirement to make substantial financial savings. It has been agreed that in 2014 roads policing officers will work from divisional stations and police the roads from there.
“Lancashire Constabulary will continue to routinely police the motorway network and is committed to continuing to reduce road casualties and make all roads in Lancashire safer.” Deputy police and crime commissioner Ibrahim Master said: “This decision does not change our absolute commitment to policing Lancashire's motorways, it is simply a case of changing how we do this.
“Specialist officers will still be responsible for protecting people travelling on the county's motorway network, but based in and deployed from divisional stations.
“This decision forms part of the latest review, aimed at saving a further £20.1m in addition to the £40m saved earlier.
“I am confident the changes will not impact on public safety on Lancashire's motorways.”
Lancashire Police Fedhel Baines said: “We have been consulted throughout the process.
“We are happy that the county’s motorways will continue to be patrolled by specially trained and competent road policing officers.”
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