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Another region warns of cutbacks prompted by government budget cuts

Greater Manchester has become the latest region to warn that it may have to switch off speed cameras to save money.

Oxfordshire, Merseyside and Wiltshire have all made similar announcements recently, following a cut in the national road safety budget of £38 million.

Karen Delaney from Drive Safe – the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership that runs the roadside cameras – said there’s only enough cash to operate cameras for another eight months. She told the Manchester Evening News, "It is possible that we will have to stop running some cameras."

Drive Safe’s road safety grant has been slashed by 40 per cent. Unless new funding is found, the organisation will have to turn off some of the region’s 245 cameras it operates along with the ten Greater Manchester councils, the police and the Highways Agency.

Ms Delaney said, "We will only know our funding situation for the future following the government spending review in October. We would like to think we will still be in a position to do some enforcement work but we will be relying heavily on partners such as the police."

She said the cuts meant money available for new projects had been considerably reduced but that existing ones will not be affected for this year.

The number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites in Greater Manchester has fallen by over 25 per cent since 2007, when partnerships like Drive Safe were formed nationally.

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: "If we start removing cameras without putting in any alternative then those drivers who have no intention of staying within speed limits have no deterrent."

But Bolton councillor Stuart Lever said: "They're just mugging machines. I think we need to bring back more traffic police and speed traps – there's a much bigger deterrent in the threat of being pulled over by officers."

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc).