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Controversial speed cam stats handed over after two-year Free Press fight

The Bucks Free Press has won a two-year fight to find out how much money had been raised at two controversial speed camera sites in High Wycombe.

Details were released after the Free Press took the Information Commissioner’s decision to appeal and it was overturned by the Information Tribunal.

And it said the battle proved to be worthwhile when it was revealed that £1.2m in revenue had been made from fines.

The paper first submitted a freedom of information request in a bid to get the figures in April 2005.

But after having multiple requests turned down – and an appeal rejected by the Information Commissioner – details have finally been made public by Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership.

Deputy news editor Wil Longbottom said: “We were fairly surprised (to get the information) because we didn’t think we would win.

“It was a long process but it was good to get the information published on something that has had so much feedback from the public.

“There was such public interest in the siting of the cameras and how much money was being made from them and we didn’t accept the reasons when our requests were rejected.”

The Free Press launched its campaign after motorists complained about the siting of the mobile cameras on the notorious Marlow Hill in High Wycombe, one of which was just metres before the speed limit switched from 30mph to 40mph.

In April 2005 it asked Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership for the number of speeding tickets issued at two camera sites, but the request was refused on the grounds of prejudicing the prosecution of offenders.

The paper asked for the information again in August 2005, but it was again rejected – on the grounds that motorists would be able to work out the likelihood of being prosecuted.

Initially the partnership’s decision was backed by the Information Commissioner which agreed with TVSRP that the figures should not be revealed on the grounds that drivers could work out the likelihood of being caught.

But the paper took the decision to appeal and it was overturned by the Information Tribunal, which gave the TVSRP 20 working days to release the information.

It revealed that more than 21,000 people were given speeding tickets between November 2002 and December 2006 – netting the partnership £1,215,720 in revenue.