‘So disappointing’ Birmingham MP reacts as noise camera trial district chosen
Labour MP Shabana Mahmood has spoken out as one area of Birmingham has been chosen to trial a noise camera to detect rowdy drivers
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The Government announced that Birmingham had been selected to take part in a noise camera trial last year – with devices designed to identify and track drivers who break the law by revving engines to be erected in a neighbourhood affected by these issues.
The trial featured new-age equipment which could help to crackdown on dangerous street racers across the city as reports of issues were prevalent around Star City. One in six of all recorded racing incidents in 2021 happened either on Heartlands Parkway in Nechells or Kenrick Way in West Bromwich, resulting in police operations specifically targeting these roads
But discussions with the Department for Transport and Birmingham Labour MP Shabana Mahmood have revealed that the test noise camera was installed more than eight miles away in Rubery, in the constituency of Conservative MP, Sajid Javid.
Ms Mahmood said that the revelation has disappointed residents in her constituency of Ladywood who have long complained about the boy racers and rowdy drivers that race around their neighbourhoods. Road noise and antisocial driving is known to contribute to various health problems and causes stress and anxiety for the local community.
Ms Mahmood was further concerned when she submitted a Freedom of Information request and found out that all 11 of the shortlisted sites were in Conservative MPs’ constituencies.
The Department for Transport told BirminghamWorld that their researchers chose the sites on merit after receiving 70 submissions after all MPs were invited to nominate locations. The sites were chosen after consultations took place and Conservative constituencies were not favoured. They said that in addition to Rubery, trials took place in Bristol, Great Yarmouth and Keighley.
Information from Ms Mahmood shows that the area of Bristol chosen is in the constituency of Conservative MP Chris Skidmore. The Great Yarmouth area is represented by Conservative MP Brandon Lewis and Keighley near Bradford is represented by Conservative MP Robbie Moore.
Commenting on the findings, Shabana Mahmood MP said:“It is so disappointing that these noise cameras are going to leafy green villages like Rubery, instead of the areas that really need them. Birmingham Ladywood have long suffered the effects of noisy and illegal exhausts as well as the anti-social behaviour that often comes with them.
“But this government continues to overlook the needs of local communities in favour of bolstering its own MPs. I will keep working with the council to reduce the numbers of boy racers on our streets, despite the fact that we continue to be ignored for funding and resources from a Conservative Government more interested in playing politics than policing our roads.”
The Department for Transport reacts
A spokesperson for the DfT said: “The four successful locations were chosen by independent researchers based on which areas could most successfully deliver the trial.” The DfT also outlined a series of points which they said were used to determine where the noise detection cameras would go.
- MPs were invited to submit locations in their constituencies for participation in the noise camera technology trial, which took place from 18 October 2022 to 1 February 2023, with more than 70 applications received by the Department.
- Bristol, Great Yarmouth, Keighley, and Rubery were the successful locations.
- The applications received by the Department were reviewed by the research consultants undertaking the trial (Atkins Jacobs Joint Venture).
- Selection included a range of factors including the ability to use existing infrastructure and street furniture, and the type of vehicle noise problem at each site in order to achieve a sufficiently wide range of road types to test the noise camera technology.
- The Department is awaiting a final report of the trial outcomes before considering next steps.