In conjunction with its plans to reduce public spending, the UK Government recently announced that it would be reducing, by approximately ₤38 million per year, the amount of Road Safety Funds currently being provided to Local Councils.
In most cases, councils throughout the UK used most of their funding for the installation and servicing of fixed speed cameras throughout the various districts. However, with councils now facing a reduction in the amount of funds they will receive, councils have begun to consider what road projects will need to be axed, with many indicating that they will be installing less speed cameras. Others have suggested that they will be switching them off altogether to save servicing costs.
In response to having less funds, the Oxfordshire County Council has announced that they will be scrapping the ₤600,000 fund that they were contributing to the Thames Valley safer roads projects. Other councils, including Somerset, Northamptonshire, Devon and Cornwall, are still deciding what projects will be cancelled or reduced, with indications that they will follow Oxfordshire Council’s action of reducing the number of speed cameras.
Although some contract hire firms suggested that speed cameras do in fact save lives, many motorists have said that they would be happier if there were fewer speed cameras on the roads, with some suggesting that speed cameras are only used to generate money for the government. After switching off their speed cameras last year, the Swindon Borough Council suggested that speed camera fines were merely a tax on vehicle drivers, pointing out that there have been no increase in accident rates since the cameras were removed.
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