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Bournemouth Consider Copying Swindon to Switch off Speed Cams


pocketgpsworld.comBournemouth's Daily Echo has today reported that the local council is investigating scrapping its 20 fixed speed cameras. Councillor Mark Anderson is setting up a group who will look into the effectiveness of the speed cameras in overall speed reduction and road safety. The group will also consider whether the council should be 'doing a Swindon' by turning off their speed cameras to free up funds; funds that could then be used on other road safety projects and road improvements.

The full article, from the Daily Echo, is shown below:

THE controversial idea of scrapping speed cameras in Bournemouth is to be investigated.

A council committee will look at whether the 20 fixed speed cameras in the town do a good job at reducing vehicle speeds and preventing collisions.

And it will also consider whether Bournemouth should follow Swindon's example and turn off its cameras, ploughing the money into other road safety schemes instead.

Queens Park and Charminster's Cllr Mark Anderson is behind the move. He is setting up a special ‘task and finish' group to look specifically at the effectiveness of the town's speed cameras.

After calling witnesses and visiting other towns, including Swindon, his committee will make recommendations that will eventually go before cabinet.

Cllr Anderson said: "I've been keen on this issue for a while. When I was 20 the reason I drove carefully around the town was because I knew there were police around.

"I knew that if I exceeded the speed limit I would probably get caught by a radar gun and I didn't know where they would be."

He said he was keen to compare the effectiveness of speed cameras with other measures, including signs that light up when speeding drivers go past.

"I just think we pay a lot of money into the safety camera partnership and I'd like to know what we actually get from it.

"We've got cameras in place that all the locals know. You take the two on Queens Park Avenue – everyone comes to the lights, slows down and then speeds up again. If there was a policeman somewhere along Queens Park Avenue with a radar gun, I think that could be much more effective.

"And if we don't have the safety cameras, we can invest the money in road improvements. This could potentially include filling in potholes.

"That's one of the things we will be looking at – should we be using some of this money to help repair the road infrastructure of the town? We have very little money from the government for road repairs."

When Swindon council made the decision to switch off its five fixed speed cameras, road safety bosses in Bournemouth and Poole both stressed they had no plans to do the same.

But Cllr Anderson said the idea deserved investigation. "I've got an open mind on this," he said. "I just want to know what people think. I want the people of Bournemouth to tell me what they want."
Comments
Posted by M8TJT on Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:03 am Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
snip....A council committee will look at whether the 20 fixed speed cameras in the town do a good job at reducing vehicle speeds and preventing collisions....snip

Wow. Another council seeing if cams are really 'safety cams' now that they are not 'revenue gatherers' for the council. Confused


 
Posted by BigPerk on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:00 am Reply with quote

Although always keen to weigh in on the cynical side myself on this sore topic, I do think there is a genuine safety and funding concern these councils are addressing (or at least a very plausible line Cool ).

Under an intense and constant severe financial squeeze from central government while trying to provide reasonable local services, LAs are additionally paying a lot of potentially useful money into central government from these cameras, while being expeted to shell out scarce money in local partnerships. So they are not getting the benefit of that revenue to either (a) cover their maintenance, etc costs; or (b) use in alternative road safety/improvement schemes.

If they were getting that money (and really DID use it for safety schemes) then they might actually put up more cameras, which perhaps WOULD then have a greater deterrent effect. Or they could site them in more important, possibly less lucrative, locations, thus increasing genuine safety, as they would at least be covering their costs). I don't think that fixed cameras are necessarily a pointless safety exercise in themselves - it's the way they're being used.

But both these councils seem to be looking mainly to mobiles - whether they will be 'safer' I doubt, as drivers are going to get more of a shock when they encounter one hidden in a layby, etc than they do with fixed ones, which is not going to improve safety! Possibly this might be being looked at simply as a more effective revenue gatherer, rather than a genuine alternative.


David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

 
Posted by M8TJT on Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:17 pm Reply with quote

BigPerk Wrote:

If they [Local Authorities] were getting that money (and really DID use it for safety schemes) then they might actually put up more cameras, which perhaps WOULD then have a greater deterrent effect.

Is this not what was originally happening until the government realised that it was a good source of income, and took most of the revenue from the LAs?


 
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