Speed cameras will stay in Gloucestershire - but no more maintenance
SPEED cameras in Gloucestershire will not be switched off – but highway bosses say maintenance will become less frequent.
As Oxfordshire's speed cameras were turned off to save cash, Gloucestershire County Council confirmed the county's 28 cameras would remain in action.
The cameras were due to be updated to a new digital format, but after cuts of £7million were imposed by the coalition Government, the council was forced to abandon the plan.
Now, the cameras will carry on flashing speeding motorists – but the films may not be changed as often as before.
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Mark Hawthorne, leader of the council, said no new investment in speed cameras will save more than £300,000.
"We have had to make decisions about where we make savings," he said.
"From now on there will be no new investment in speed cameras in Gloucestershire and a review of how camera enforcement operates is planned. This will save £363,000 this year. The existing network will continue to operate but cameras will be refilled less frequently."
The decision by councils across the UK and central Government to slash funding for the controversial devices has been slammed by road safety campaigners nationwide.
Kate Tucker, of Wotton-under-Edge, has spent many years campaigning for safer roads following the death of her husband Ken Delaney, 44, in Claypits, near Eastington, in 2002.
Kate said: "I think they should keep the cameras going as long as possible in Gloucestershire.
"I'll say what I've said before, I think they're useful and I think they do save lives, so I think they should maintain them as long as they can."
Under the terms of the new budget, the road safety grant for 2010 to 2011 has been slashed by 40 per cent.
Crucially, the capital grant – a £17.2million annual fund that typically pays for the cameras – has also been abolished in the budget.
With few other ways of funding the cameras – as the fines from speeding go to the Treasury – councils would have to pay using revenue earmarked for schools and other projects.
In the case of Oxfordshire, the county council axed its £600,000 grant to the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership in a bid to find £1million in savings.