Future of safety cameras in doubt

SUFFOLK: There could be fewer speed cameras on the roads in future as the county council and police hold discussions about budgets cuts.

The Government has already said it will provide no more money to councils for new fixed speed cameras.

Ministers are also in the process of considering the whole question of road safety grants to local authorities.

Suffolk’s transport portfolio holder Guy McGregor said he had already had discussions with senior police officers about the future of the Suffolk SafetyCam partnership.

Mr McGregor said: “There is no doubt that in some places speed cameras have had a very good effect – I’m thinking of those on the A140 and the A14 before the Haughley Bends were by-passed. But there is this change in funding and we have to talk about how things carry on. We haven’t reached any conclusions yet but we are continuing to discuss the options with the police.”

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A number of local authorities are set to scrap their road safety partnerships due to financial cutbacks, the RAC Foundation has warned. The foundation said it has seen a letter from “the top official to people prominent in the road safety arena”.

According to the foundation the letter warned of:

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n Dismantling the majority of road safety partnerships;

n Decommissioning large parts of the enforcement work including cameras, specialist police officers and civilian camera operators;

n The loss of a large part of the offender re-education schemes, including speed awareness courses.

The letter says: “I am aware that a number of authorities are now well down the road in planning to wholly withdraw from partnerships within days.’’

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: “This is a shocking warning. Road safety measures deliver huge benefits in relation to their cost. Britain should rightly be proud of the fall over many years in the number of people who have died on the nation’s roads.

“But these sweeping cuts mean that trend could very soon be reversed.”

n Do speed cameras make roads safer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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