A councillor has had a Freedom of Information request to try to determine the effectiveness of a Cross Roads speed camera refused.

A Bradford Council official has told him: “I believe that there is great potential for harm to be caused by the release of such statistics into the public domain.”

Cllr Mark Pullen, of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, made the request - as a member of the public rather than a councillor - as he was struggling to acquire details about the camera (pictured), which is on Halifax Road, near its junction with Worstead Road.

He had asked Bradford Council to say how many days the device was operational between January and August this year.

He also asked the council to reveal how many tickets were issued to offenders within the same period.

However, the reply from casualty reduction analyst Stuart Robertshaw said although the information did exist, it could not be released.

The response stated: “For speed enforcement to be truly effective there must be the perception that the chance of being recorded is high at all sites. Releasing site specific data may identify those sites where a motorist is more likely to be caught exceeding the speed limit or failing to comply with a traffic signal.

“This may, in turn, reduce the effectiveness of those sites where motorists perceive there is less chance of being caught, resulting in an increase in speeding and speed-related incidents and casualties.”

Cllr Pullen then wrote to request an internal review of Bradford Council’s handling of his request. He said: “While I accept disclosure of actual dates of usage could help potential offenders discern when cameras are operated, I feel my question is only asking the authority to prove the camera in question provides a real deterrent.

“A large number of residents have no faith in the benefits claimed by having a yellow box on a pole at this location and want written proof that these devices have resulted in the capture of offenders.

“This stretch of road has had a recent fatality and it is my intention to pursue additional safety measures which will require the disclosure of data relating to the flow and speed of traffic.”

The review of Cllr Pullen’s request, carried out by head of information management Steven Harding, confirmed that the details he asked for would not be provided. Mr Harding said a further reason for not disclosing the information was the possibility that the camera might be vandalised if it was seen to have a high detection rate.

l Opinion p12