YORK’S transport boss has criticised police over delays in introducing speed cameras into the city and has demanded crunch talks to thrash out a potential timetable.

Coun Steve Galloway, York council’s executive member for city strategy, says the lack of progress since the issue was last discussed six months ago is a major concern, and police need to use the training they have been given in mobile speed cameras.

City of York and North Yorkshire County Councils have agreed in principle to look at whether the devices could be used as they try to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on the region’s roads.

Now Coun Galloway says he wants to meet the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Grahame Maxwell, to discuss how the scheme can be implemented. He said he wants to address how neighbourhood policing teams can use VASCAR-type systems, which determine whether drivers are breaking the law by calculating their average speed between two points, in areas where communities feel there are speeding problems.

Council officers have said that while there are no suitable sites in North Yorkshire for fixed cameras, mobile alternatives could be set up at 28 locations, including three in York, and bringing them in could prevent 31 people being killed or seriously injured in the space of four years. The scheme could cost between £3.1 million and £3.6 million across the region in the first four years of its operation.

Coun Galloway said: “I still believe that mobile safety cameras should be a technique available to the police.

“It enables them to target known accident blackspots where excessive speed may a contributory factor to the severity of accidents.

“We have made excellent progress over the last two years in reducing the number of serious road traffic accidents in the city by 36 per cent.

“We now need to keep up the momentum and ensure that aggressive or careless drivers are aware that sooner or later they will be identified.”

However a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Officers carry out speed enforcement as a routine part of their patrols. The VASCAR speed detection devices are currently being replaced as officers receive training in a new generation of devices that have a greater functionality. “We work with our partners to identify problem locations and carry out enforcement operations when and where appropriate.”

North Yorkshire is currently one of only a handful of UK areas without speed cameras.

• MORE than half a million pounds was collected in fines for speeding and traffic offences in North Yorkshire in a single year.

A national report collated by the Tax Payers’ Alliance shows that fines amounting to £537,509 were imposed in the region in 2008. In 2007 fines amounting to £390,739 were imposed.