Every fixed speed camera in Oxfordshire could be switched off next month in a bid to deal with central government spending cuts.
The Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership has taken steps to turn off all 72 of its fixed speed cameras, possibly as early as August 1, following Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to cut funding for the scheme by £600,000.
The council was told to cut total spending by £11m this year as part of wider government plans to reduce the national debt – a level of savings council leader Keith Mitchell described as ‘unheard of’.
Now campaigners fear other local authorities could also cut funding for speed cameras in an attempt to save cash, jeopardising road safety.
Speed cameras ‘cost effective’
Ellen Booth, campaigns officer at road safety group Brake, said: ‘It would be a disaster if these cuts were passed on in full by county councils to road safety partnerships.
‘It would be especially hard to justify the idea that all speed cameras should be turned off. Speed cameras are a really cost effective way of managing speed, which is one of the biggest issues on our roads.
‘To get rid of them would be a backward step and we would really be risking people’s lives.’
Empty yellow boxes
Three people per week are killed on roads in the Thames Valley, statistics from the Safer Roads Partnership show.
Earlier this month, councillors in Swindon reported that, after a year without speed cameras, the number of accidents on local roads had remained unchanged.
Today a spokesperson for the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership told Which? Car the working parts of all the cameras would soon be removed. But at this stage, Oxfordshire County Council was unable to confirm whether the empty yellow speed camera boxes, which it owns, would be kept on as a deterrent.
If you’ve been caught speeding and think you have grounds to appeal against the ticket, read the Which? guide to dealing with speeding tickets.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.