Speed cam ‘delay’ prompts political exchange
The GSD has flagged the length of time it has taken to get the speed cameras operational and said the whole episode has been “an embarrassment” to the Minister for Transport, Paul Balban.
In a statement the GSD welcomed the Government’s announcement that speed cameras will shortly become operational and said it will be carefully monitoring the situation when this actually happens.
This drew a reaction from the Gibraltar Government, which insisted it is following all correct procedure to ensure that the speed camera project is conducted properly from the outset.
The speed cameras will have a huge positive effect on road safety in Gibraltar and will support the Royal Gibraltar Police in their enforcement operations, the Government added.
The GSD, however, said the “whole episode has been an embarrassment to the Minister for Transport who really should not make too much of finally getting this project off the ground, if this latest announcement by Government is to be believed.”
Trevor Hammond, GSD Transport Spokesman, said: “It's important to look back at the reasons cited for the introduction of speed cameras which the Minister said was to address ‘the numerous concerns resulting from serious or lethal injuries as a direct result of excessive speeding on our roads’.”
“Those were his words not ours. It was therefore, according to him, a matter of public safety and yet the Minister was saying this in early November 2015, nearly 18 months ago.”
“He also explained in that press release that "all the infrastructure and legislation for the speed cameras is now in place" and that our roads "will no doubt be safer for all".”
“The legislation that the Minister said was in place in November 2015 was only passed by Parliament in October 2016.”
Mr Hammond added: “It is a remarkable indictment of the Minister's abject failure in respect of this project, his Government's lack of priorities on matters of public safety and the propensity of this administration to mislead the public that this project might be coming to fruition over a year later than first announced.”
Hitting back, Mr Balban, said: ‘Mr Hammond continues to pretend that he is some kind of authority on public safety, but the reality is that he lost any credibility that he may have had on this issue when he lost the election on his anti-LNG ticket.”
“The truth is that doomsday has not come and Mr Hammond is reduced to an expert in name-calling and nothing else. After 16 years of GSD stagnation, this Government is proud to be doing things right.”
“This is just one of several of our projects which are aimed at improving traffic flow and providing additional parking but which always have safety as their number one priority. I am confident that the careful work we are doing will prove effective and beneficial for all in the long term, and that Mr Hammond’s comments will, like him, soon be yesterday’s news and no more than an unpleasant memory.”