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Lights, Camera, Inaction: Swindon, Oxfordshire and Now Derby

Article by: robert
Date: 25 Jul 2010

pocketgpsworld.com7 Red-Light Cameras, 72 Fixed Speed Cameras and 89 Mobile Camera Locations in Oxfordshire, which collectively detected around 75,000 motoring offences last year alone, will be decommissioned on the 1st August.

This is despite the Oxfordshire Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership's assertion that there has been a 36% long term reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured and serious crashes involving excessive speed in Thames Valley dropping by 58%.

The Partnership's communication manager, Dan Campsall, responded to a question about their decision from Mike Barrett of PocketGPSWorld. He said, "The effect of the funding reductions from Oxfordshire County Council means that from the end of the month operation of fixed, mobile & red light cameras will all cease in Oxfordshire only. The rest of the enforcement sites in Thames Valley will continue operation."

It will be interesting to see how long it'll be before the rest of the Thames Valley, indeed the country, bow to budgetary pressures.

Councils' road safety funds have been cut nationally by the new government from £77m to £56m and there will be no new funding for new cameras.

Oxfordshire's action follows that of Swindon council, which scrapped their speed cameras just over a year ago and now Derby's city council has confirmed that three of their speed cameras are being stood down while all others are under review.

Does this signal the possible demise of speed cameras in the UK?
Posted by Wazza_G on Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:43 pm Reply with quote

Goodbyee, Goodbyeee, there's no tears now your not here, it's goodbyeee! Very Happy

I know I shouldn't say this, but I will... This is one lot of individuals who's loss of employment, I won't be saddened by.

The problem being with the scameras being shutdown will the guy's here be made unemployed? Sad

Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

Posted by boblister on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:53 pm Reply with quote

If they do follow with the rest of the country and decommission the lot then it will be an end to the PGPSW database. I suspect that is an important funding source for this site.

I always thought speed cams were considered a cash cow. If that is the case then surely they can't be removing them for financial reasons. Puzzled.

Posted by Wazza_G on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:27 pm Reply with quote

They used to be paid for by central (Labour) government who then got a rake off of the profits, which were to be used for more & more of them, so more & more cameras would come raking in ever more profits!

So it's not surprisingly they (Labour) were keen to keep them.

But the Tories, knew that the public resented them & just saw them as a cash machine and said that they'd reduce & get rid of a lot of them which was good card to play at election time with a duff/failing Labour government in charge. Now it seems that they're actually doing it.

Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

Posted by richvr on Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:50 pm Reply with quote

Local news reported that Devon and Cornwall scameras are also for the chop .. Gun Shoot Out Pistol Shoot Out Cheers!

Posted by MaFt on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:28 am Reply with quote

personally i don't think that this will affect roadworks cameras as these are nothing to do with local partnerships...


Posted by MikeB on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:38 am Reply with quote

I was speaking with Dan Campsall who tells me that despite the fact that the Government cutting the funding by 40% for road safety Oxfordshire county Council passed that cut on plus more, reducing the funding to the Thames Valley Speed Camera Partnership by 70%. This cut made it impossible to operate the cameras in Oxfordshire.

Dan told me that there had not been a single fixed camera installed in 8 years, and that the main enforcement was through mobile cameras. He also strongly hinted that if funding did become available again that the focus would be on mobiles.

Indeed the removal of the cameras will not be a carte blanche for speeders, the Thames Valley Police will still operate speed checks throughout the county and may well step them up in light of the fact that there is less automated enforcement.

Dan also suggested that the claims from Swindon were based on incomplete data, only representing 9 months, not a full year. He fully believes that the use of Speed Cameras does indeed save lives.

The cynic in me suggests that this is just a way to force Oxfordshire Council and the Government to review the funding provided to the Speed Camera Programmes, whilst my other side suggests that this Government may indeed be doing what they promised and are no longer funding the Speed Cameras (whilst still taking the revenue from them). It does seem a little strange that they would cut the funds to operate a system that is a nett revenue generator (and provides a large number of jobs).

Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership Wrote:

The cabinet of Oxfordshire County Council confirmed yesterday that it would be reducing funding to the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership by 71% The cut, totalling £600,000, will result in withdrawal of partnership enforcement activities by the end of the month.

The fixed cameras in the county which have seen a 36% long term reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured will be decommissioned in the coming days and enforcement at mobile sites will cease with immediate effect. Since the partnership was formed in 2000, serious crashes involving excessive speed in Thames Valley have dropped by 58% with enforcement playing a key part in that reduction.

Speaking for the partnership, Communications Manager Dan Campsall said: “Whilst this is regrettable, and we have serious concerns over the impact that this will have on the safety of residents and road users in the area, the partnership has little alternative than to cease its activities.

Oxfordshire County Council is facing enormous pressure on vital services because of recent cuts made by central government; however, the cut in partnership funding is so drastic that full and immediate withdrawal of services is the only option.”

The impact of these cuts will result in the decommissioning of:
72 Fixed Speed Cameras
7 Red-Light Cameras
89 Mobile Camera Locations

These cameras detected around 75,000 motoring offences in 2009, half of which were drivers from outside Oxfordshire; all enforcement will cease at these locations by 1st August.

The partnership Road Safety Constables also coordinate checks to address dangerous driving behaviour such as failure to wear seatbelts, using a mobile phone or drink driving. In 2009 in Oxfordshire these checks detected the following offences:

Seatbelt offences 4,050
Mobile Phone Offences 1,010
Speed Offences 2,866
Construction and Use offences 2,058
Drink Drive Offences 6
Insurance Offences 52
Driving Licence Offences 26

Over half of those drivers who commit motoring offences are offered the chance of attending an education course, these are proven to be effective at reducing risk for road users; the benefit of these courses will also be lost.

The work of the Partnership across the remainder of the Thames Valley will continue for the foreseeable future.

Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership
Road death and injury remains an enormous issue on our roads, Thames Valley Police have joined forces with the 9 highway authorities across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire along with the 3 fire & rescue services, the Highways Agency, Crown Prosecution Service and Her Majesty’s Courts Service to take action.

Through the Safer Roads Partnership, dedicated road safety funding is being used to target roadside enforcement and to educate drivers about the dangers and risks involved with a variety of road traffic offences; whilst also raising other road safety issues to groups who are at the greatest risk.

Mike Barrett

Posted by topgun44 on Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:09 pm Reply with quote

yep norfolk might get camera gone as well they cant keep them going Very Happy

Posted by Harry06 on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:03 pm Reply with quote

Personally, I'd rather have to deal with static speed cameras. They're all on the database and nearly always painted bright yellow.

Unlike the recent submission I have made from the M5 J3. Copper parks his car well out of site, then stands on a bridge overlooking the carriageway with his camera. Quite difficult to see just a hi-viz and a white hat.

I personally think the more static cameras that go, then the more we'll encounter police hiding in every nook and cranny waiting to ambush.

And as the military say "In a well planned ambush, no one gets out alive".

Posted by boblister on Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:20 pm Reply with quote

I don't think there is going to be much of a change for us here in Cumbria according to reports in the loca papers.


Posted by MikeB on Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:28 pm Reply with quote

And now Northamptonshire joins the fray, turning off 20% of their cameras but leaving them unmarked and in place...

This is starting to look as if the SCPs were looking for an excuse to blame someone else for the removal of the Fixed cameras that have been claimed to be the main cause of the reduction of speed related accidents.

Officials have revealed that one in five of Northamptonshire's speed cameras have been turned off in the past few weeks.
As councils across the country face tough financial times, some, such as Oxfordshire, have decided to turn off all their cameras because they cost too much to run.

The leaders of Northamptonshire County Council have said they have no plans to get rid of the cameras which line many of the county's roads, but the authority's cabinet member for transport, Councillor Heather Smith (Con, Prebendal) admitted a number had already been switched off.

She said: "We've achieved a huge amount in Northamptonshire and there are no plans to do anything like they have in Oxford.

"But we have turned a number of cameras off over the past month.

"We chose to do that because we looked at each camera site and there were some where we found the cameras were no longer really needed.

"But we've decided not to put a bag over them or take them down because they still serve the significant purpose of reminding drivers to slow down."

Last week, the Chronicle & Echo revealed the Northamptonshire Casualty Reduction Partnership, which is responsible for the county's cameras, had its government funding cut by almost £1 million. The funding cut for Northamptonshire is greater than that faced in Oxfordshire, where the decision has been made to switch off all the county's 72 cameras.

Discussing the Northamptonshire funding cut, Councillor Smith said: "A plan is already in place to meet the reductions the Northamptonshire Casualty Reduction Partnership faces. This includes looking at reducing staffing levels across the partnership."

Road safety charity Brake has written to every council in the country urging them not to follow Oxford by turning off all their cameras.

The group's deputy chief executive, Julie Townsend, said: "Turning cameras off is a disastrous blow for communities relying on them to protect them."

Northamptonshire County Council has not revealed which of the county's 42 cameras have been turned off.

Extract from the Northampton Chronicle and Echo http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/One-in-five-speed-cameras.6440712.jp

Mike Barrett

Posted by M8TJT on Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:09 pm Reply with quote

Discussing the Northamptonshire funding cut, Councillor Smith said: "A plan is already in place to meet the reductions the Northamptonshire Casualty Reduction Partnership faces. This includes looking at reducing staffing levels across the partnership."

Now there's a good idea. When faced with hard times, that's exactly what the private sector do Exclamation


Road safety charity Brake.....The group's deputy chief executive, Julie Townsend, said: "Turning cameras off is a disastrous blow for communities relying on them to protect them."
What a load of tosh

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