Suffolk speed cameras under review

THE fate of Suffolk’s speed cameras should become clear later this year.

Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership expects to know its fate in September after the new coalition government announced it was cutting back on funding for speed cameras.

The cameras are already facing the axe in some parts of the country – Oxfordshire seems set to switch off its 79 speed cameras next week and other counties are set to follow suit.

The partnership in Suffolk is run by the county council and the police and over the summer there are discussions about whether it should continue despite the government’s withdrawal of funding.

Cameras are credited with reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries at accident blackspots across the county by up to 80%.

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They had a particularly big impact when first introduced on the Haughley Bends on the A14 – which have since been by-passed – and on the A140.

A spokeswoman for the partnership said: “We don’t know what is going to happen here in Suffolk, it is currently a matter for discussion between the police and the county.

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“But we know that the cameras – at both fixed and mobile locations – have had a significant impact on the number of road casualties.”

Speed cameras are a subject which divides motorists – some people see them as invaluable safety measures while others see them as mechanical tax-gatherers.

Fines paid by motorists caught speeding are paid directly to the Treasury. When the cameras were first set up part of this money was returned to cover their running expenses but that is no longer the case.

A spokeswoman for the county council said a final decision on the fate of the safety camera partnership would be made once the government’s comprehensive spending review was published in October.

She said: “We are aware of the issues surrounding safety cameras and a final decision will be made once we know what is in the review.”

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