Council Could Cut Speed Camera Spending

A Conservative-run council could stop spending money on speed cameras, because of concerns that they are not the best way to make roads safer.

Swindon Borough Council currently contributes £400,000 to funding speed cameras in the town, but they now reviewing their involvement in the local safety camera partnership scheme.

The council's leader, Councillor Roderick Bluh, told reporters that that the council believe that speed cameras might not be the effective way to reduce road accidents, but stressed that they would not compromise safety. The decision will be made by September.

It is believed that the council's announcement is the first time that a council has challenged the government on the issue of speed cameras.

The announcement follows changes in speed camera funding laws, which allow the Treasury to keep the proceeds of fines and, instead, distribute road-safety grants to councils.

Conservative Councillor Peter Greenhalgh told reporters that the speed cameras were "a blatant tax on the motorist" and that the money could be better spent on local safety measures.

However, Anne Snelgrove, Labour MP for South Swindon, has called for the plans to be dropped, accusing the council of "playing politics with lives".

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport stressed that safety cameras were designed to save lives, not raise revenue, and said that there were 1,475 fewer deaths and serious injuries per year in areas where camera were located. However, the spokesperson said that the decision on funding was a local matter for the council.


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