Camera funding grinds to a halt
All 72 fixed speed cameras in Oxfordshire could be switched off within days.
Mobile cameras and red light cameras are also likely to be decommissioned, making a total of 168 devices.
The county council is withdrawing £600,000 of funding from the Thames Valley Road Safety Partnership and without the money the partnership could mothball the cameras by the beginning of August.
The move follows the coalition government’s commitment to “end the war on motorists” and refusal to provide local authorities with money to spend on fixed speed cameras from central funds.
Commenting on the news, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation said:
“The debate about the benefits of fixed speed cameras will rumble on, however the broader problem is the slashing of the road safety budget. The roads minister Mike Penning says he hopes councils will now focus on other ways of reducing road casualties, but how can they do anything if the cash to do it with is not available? For example if the government believes speed limits are a good thing then who is going to enforce them? Certainly not the police who also face a large reduction in resources and manpower.”
“There is a bigger issue as to whether the current speed limits are appropriate or should be changed – in some cases decreased, in others actually increased as happened recently on a stretch of the A13 – to reflect local circumstances.”
“Road safety measures, which go far beyond speed cameras, deliver huge benefits in terms of value for taxpayers’ money so in this time of financial crisis this is not an area where the cash should be cut, especially with 2222 dying on the nation’s roads in 2009 alone.
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications
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