My attention was drawn to a report on the Guardian website that new cameras are to be installed at traffic lights that will clock motorists who run red lights and drive over the speed limit.

Drivers caught breaking the speed limit by the cameras face a minimum £100 fine and three points on their license – although courts can issue higher fines and disqualify motorists.

Brian Rogers, Cheshire Road Safety Group implementation manager, said: “Far too many people have died and been seriously injured as a result of collisions on Cheshire roads in recent times.

“Junctions in which vehicles and pedestrians come to a road from different directions are particularly dangerous, and it is vital that motorists travel at an appropriate speed – one which enables them to stop safely should the colour of traffic lights change, or a pedestrian step into the road.

“We hope that the new generation cameras will deter motorists from speeding and going through red lights at junctions and therefore reduce the number and severity of collisions.”

Now that's a laudable sentiment and one which we should all be able to get behind.

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

It's a simple premise. Obey the law, drive at a speed that allows you to stop if traffic lights change to red and you're fine. Drive too fast, take a chance and you could end up being fined.

Seems fair to me.

But not, it would appear for everyone.

The story generated a fair amount of comment on the Guardian's website including one from Toffeelad who, while supporting road safety branded the scheme a 'cash cow' while Mid Cheshire Monkey thought "The money would be better spent gritting the icy roads before it freezes rather than after the event."

There's no pleasing some people, is there?

But by far an away the most unusual response to what is essentially a good project came from Friar Street Muse who had a bit of rant about cyclists, saying: "It's a pity this technology could not be adapted to nab dozy cyclists who appear to be completely oblivious to traffic lights and all another road signage.

"If I had a £1 for every Lycra-clad dipstick who has whizzed past me at a red light I would be in clover.

"Even more worrying is the scumbag on his bike who hurtles though pedestrians as they are crossing at the pelican or zebra crossing.

"The next nosebag that does that to me is liable to get my umbrella in his front spokes, see how they like to have their personal safety compromised by an irresponsible moron."

Wow, just wow. What can you say to that? It's not often I am left stuck for words but comparing the potential damage a speeding car jumping red lights can do to a cyclist seems just a little bit disproportionate.

Or am I missing something here?

  • Fair play to Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury MP for meeting representatives of Marks and Spencer in Westminster to urge them to keep a presence in the town.

Apparently he pressed the case for M&S staying in Northwich following news of plans to close the store.

Mike said: “M&S is an iconic British brand with a long history, and it’s extremely important we keep names like these in Northwich.

“I’ve had many letters and email from constituents saying how sorry they are to see the store under threat.

“Although these are difficult times for retail nationally, I told M&S that the town is very much bucking the national trend and that a number of retailers have now made the move into Barons Quay.

“They left the meeting certain in the knowledge that Northwich wants them to stay.”

Well played and well said Mike. But I very much suspect you are wasting your breath.

I can only assume that the people in charge of M&S have done their sums and have decided to keep open those stores that make a contribution to the bottom line.

If the Northwich store doesn't contribute – or contribute enough – I don't expect a change of heart any time soon.

I hope I'm wrong.