A councillor has raised concerns over the effectiveness of Speed Indicator Devices (SpIDs) on many of the county's 'dangerous roads'.

Ribble Valley Councillor, Ged Mirfin, said the number of SpIDs in Lancashire is higher than anywhere else in the country, but argues they are not cost effective, and claims speeding could be managed better if permanent measures were put in place.

A SpID is a device that raises driver awareness by displaying the vehicle's speed or a smiley or sad face, depending whether the driver is above or below the speed limit.

They are normally deployed for short periods on stretches of roads where there have been complaints by large numbers of residents about speeding or dangerous driving.

But Cllr Mirfin said because there's no enforcement element in a SpID, there's no consequence for a speeding motorist, other than perhaps a frowning emoji.

Cllr Ged Mirfin

Cllr Ged Mirfin

He said: "SpIDs remind drivers about speed and help encourage appropriate behaviour but they don't deliver enforcement where the speed limit is being deliberately flouted.

"Lancashire County Council operates a traffic light system in relation to stretches of roads where there have been a significant number of representations made by local residents.

"Green is the stage at which LCC gathers further information encouraging local action groups to present reports from local residents and traffic surveys.

"Seventeen stretches of road in the Ribble Valley have been identified as causes for concern, with 11 currently on Green and only one being the subject of further investigation, which is Middle Lodge Road in Barrow."

Cllr Mirfin said five other stretches of road were coded Amber, meaning they had either a SpID put in place, or temporary signage erected, and only one Red.



He added: "Only recently has Mitton Road been awarded Amber status and a SpID put in place but even that has disappeared without explanation in the last few days.

"Once the SpID or temporary signage is removed speeding quickly returns to pre-SpID levels, and nothing is achieved."

The only location LCC awarded a stretch of road Red status was on the A59 in Gisburn.

Cllr Mirfin continued: "I just wonder if they are cost effective or whether there is a better way of doing things.

"SpIDs cost around £3,000 per device, plus the installation, manpower, replacement batteries and charging costs.

"Would the safety on Lancashire’s Roads not be better improved by reducing the speed limit on dangerous stretches of road and introducing permanent speed reduction and traffic calming measures?"

Readers say which roads need a speed camera. Photo: Radar

Readers say which roads need a speed camera. Photo: Radar

Lancashire County Council said SpIDs have been shown to be effective at encouraging compliance with speed limits, and work by raising drivers' awareness of their speed in relation to the speed limit.

Some of the SpIDs deployed within Lancashire are owned by the county council, however others are owned by district and parish councils who use them to address speeding issues in their local areas.

A spokesperson for the County Council said: "Where there is evidence of a speeding problem, we work alongside the police to identify measures which may be most effective in addressing the issue.

"This may include mobile enforcement, education or use of a SpID.

"The police provide us with reports of all collisions resulting in someone being injured and every year we prioritise schemes for the highest risk locations where a pattern of incidents suggest we could reasonably act to prevent similar incidents in the future.

"Where there is evidence of people being injured, a safety scheme may include reducing a speed limit, but this will be accompanied by physical measures such as signs and lines, or in exceptional circumstances by features such as chicanes or road humps to encourage compliance and ensure they contribute towards addressing the safety issue.

"Speed limits are set using national guidelines which take into account many issues, however a key feature of how speed limits are set is that they should reinforce people’s own assessment of what is a safe speed to travel and encourage self-compliance."

Cllr Mirfin has issued a Freedom of Information Request to Lancashire County Council to ascertain whether SpIDs are cost effective and whether they are delivering the kind of changes on Lancashire’s Roads that was hoped for. He awaits their response.