Controversial cameras to remain on roads

SPEED cameras are likely to feature on roads across Comet country for the foreseeable future despite government cuts.

Conjecture and speculation has followed the reduction of funds for road safety, with several national newspapers implying that many local authorities were poised to switch off their cameras.

County councillor Michael Muir, who represents Letchworth East and Baldock, said: “I sit on the highways cabinet panel at council and I have sat on it for five years.

“We have seen several proposals in front of us over the years.

“The facts speak for themselves they have kept down death and serious injury in Hertfordshire.”

Oxfordshire is set to turn off every single speed camera after �600,000 was slashed from their road safety budget, but Hertfordshire County Council and Central Bedfordshire Council have confirmed that there are no such plans for either region.

Mr Muir said: “I think in Oxfordshire they don’t have a lot of money for upkeep and we in Hertfordshire have.

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“I think at the moment there’s been no decision to review speed cameras and whether there will be in the future is up to the highways panel.

“The facts prove that they have cut serious death and injury on roads in Hertfordshire.”

This sentiment was echoed by David McVicar, Central Bedfordshire Council’s portfolio holder for safer communities and healthier lifestyles.

He said: “It is fair to say that the government’s cut to the area based road safety grant has hit Central Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire as a whole hard.

“The speed cameras in Central Bedfordshire have been located at accident ‘black spots’ where there have been high numbers of serious and fatal accidents resulting from speeding vehicles.

“Since the introduction of the speed camera’s there has been a significant drop in accidents at those sites with no noticeable shifting of the problem.

“For this reason we will be doing our utmost to ensure that our fixed camera sites remain operation.

“We will be carrying out a risk assessment of each site to verify that the cameras are still required to maintain safety at those sites - any that are not required, perhaps due to other changes on the road network, will be decommissioned.”

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