Government budget cuts will force councils to switch off cameras, according to the LGA

Local councils will have no option other than to turn speed cameras off due to budget cuts from the coalition government.

That is the view of David Sparks, the leader of the Labour group on the Local Government Association. He told The Daily Telegraph that even councils in favour of the cameras would be forced to switch theirs off due to the extent of the cuts.

Councils have to hand over fines received from cameras to the Treasury, but usually acquired the money back as part of a road safety grant. However, the coalition has cut this grant, leaving councils to pick up the bill for operating and maintaining cameras.

"I think there is a real possibility that the pressure on council budgets will be so severe that even those councils that are in favour of speed cameras will pull out of partnerships for financial reasons,” said Sparks. “I think this is an example of spending cuts having an impact that had never been forecast.”

Many of the original first-generation speed cameras, which use film, are nearing the end of their usable lives and councils are struggling to find the money to replace them with digital cameras costing around £40,000 each.

Cameras were switched off in Oxfordshire last month after the Conservative council removed funding for them, while the safety-camera partnership in Wiltshire and Swindon has already been axed. Labour-run Thurrock is also considering switching off cameras to save money.

Figures released yesterday by Thames Valley’s Safer Roads Partnership revealed speeding was up past two of the cameras in Oxford it had monitored since the switch off.

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Comments
18

11 August 2010

WOO-HOO!!!!

11 August 2010

i think this story is bigger sounding than the reality of what it means for us.

the old cameras will go. but those real time traffic cameras will stay as they are part of the UK defence intelligence network. and forgive me if i give them the idea but all they need to do is write a computer programme that uses the ANPR system of those road network monitoring cameras to time intervals between them to issue speeding fines. or other penalties.

that would be a seperate system from council average speed cameras.

i live near lots of street mounted cctv cameras, which is something else that maybe cut, and i think that could be a good thing.


11 August 2010

If the councils really think they are so vital they will have to fund them then won't they. But in reality they find it more worthwhile spending my money on various ways to mess up the apparently misleadingly simple task of emptying my dustbin, twinning with some Albanian village, spying on parents applying to schools, lesbian awareness sessions at the library, webcam broadcasts of council rows etc.

11 August 2010

I found myself having to do a lot of business miles last week then spent a long weekend mountain biking in the Midlands. Must have knocked up over a thousand miles on motorways all over Scotland then England. Something I noticed was that at an indicated 80mph, middish to high seventies on my sat-nav, I was the fastest car on the road most of the time. I bet the number of cars that overtook me could be counted on the fingers of one hand. I would contrast that with 15 odd years ago where cruising at an indicated 85-90mph one would be overtaken regularly. Could it be that now we have been conditioned into driving so much slower the speed cameras no longer pick up enough offenders to cover the costs of the program?

11 August 2010

Forgive me if I don't follow the standard red-top tabloid mentality here, but having some speed cameras is still a good thing in areas where they prevent excess speeding and keep the roads safer.

The issue is there are too many, usually in places where they give no real benefit to pedestrians or road users, and if these are the ones that are to be scrapped then I would welcome it. However, this reduction will be cost led rather than safety led so the speed cameras that continue to generate revenue will be the ones that remain, regardless of what safety aspect they provide.

11 August 2010

[quote tannedbaldhead] Could it be that now we have been conditioned into driving so much slower the speed cameras no longer pick up enough offenders to cover the costs of the program? [/quote]

I attribute that to fuel costs. Many people can't afford to go faster. I know some field engineers that have to achieve the manufacturers quoted fuel consumption figures whilst working or repay the difference out of their own pockets, they have to plod along like saints. Most the fast movers now are the usual German rep metal running on a company fuel card.

Also you are vastly more likely to be pulled over by an un-marked police car than a marked one now and they use a huge range of vehicles (example bottom of M6 a Black Golf) so spotting is impossible, a lot of people I suspect have just given up pushing their luck.

11 August 2010

[quote The Apprentice]

If the councils really think they are so vital they will have to fund them then won't they. But in reality they find it more worthwhile spending my money on various ways to mess up the apparently misleadingly simple task of emptying my dustbin, twinning with some Albanian village, spying on parents applying to schools, lesbian awareness sessions at the library, webcam broadcasts of council rows etc.

[/quote]

Haha! You're absolutely right! I think you've just described The Labour Party 1997 - 2010.

11 August 2010

[quote The Apprentice]I attribute that to fuel costs. Many people can't afford to go faster.[/quote]

I think you're bang on the money. Has anyone else noticed how many cars are driving to work on the motorways at 50-60 MPH.

[quote The Apprentice]

Also you are vastly more likely to be pulled over by an un-marked police car than a marked one now and they use a huge range of vehicles (example bottom of M6 a Black Golf) so spotting is impossible, a lot of people I suspect have just given up pushing their luck.

[/quote]

Another good point. Noticed a small black SEAT traffic car tugging offenders on the A20 in Kent (my I get around) and Central Scotland Police have a light metalic blue Skoda Octavia that will catch out the unwary.

11 August 2010

I saw plod re-loading the camera on the main road at the end of our street just this morning. Maybe Kirklees still has the spare cash or perhaps it was the last 'fill-up' for this old Gatso?


11 August 2010

Here is the final proof that speed cameras are a cash grab. If it was a safety issue they would use them at any cost deficit.

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