Manchester says speed cameras might have to go

Another region warns of cutbacks prompted by government budget cuts

by Martin Thomas   August 20, 2010  

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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."

3 user comments

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Let us not forget that you can smuggle a falcon chick out of the country and get 30 months in prison.

You can kill someone with your car and get a 6 month suspended sentence and a driving ban of 1 year.

Living in Greater Manchester myself, its a sad situation... I was walking home with my daughter from nursery yesterday on a 20mph road with a flashing warning sign (three schools on the road). Car after car after car went past making it flash - one person doing at least 40mph.

Nobody cares anymore (well, I do when I am in my car, but thats just me).

I even had someone drive on the pavement at us as they parked their car.

On the opposite side of the road is a speed camera, but everyone knows it doesn't work and you get countless drivers speeding past it without a care in the world.

Unfortunately, we are a car-centric society and nothing will ever change.

What the councils don't realise is that they are just shifting the monetary burden from one place to another.

No cameras = more speeding
More speeding = more accidents
More accidents = more drain on the NHS
More drain on the NHS = more money needed from councils.

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posted by jobysp [145 posts]
20th August 2010 - 9:05

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Prior to the advent of speed cameras, Great Britain used the proven engineering principle to set posted speed limits on main roads at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic. This methodology was developed about 70 years ago and tends to produce the lowest accident rate and the smoothest traffic flow with the fewest conflicts between vehicles. This helped to produce the world leading record of year over year reductions in the fatality rate per mile traveled. Britain COULD take a big step to return to this world leadership by returning to the 85th percentile method to set posted speed limits on all main roads and Motorways. At the same time, she could redirect traffic enforcement against dangerous drivers to improve safety, instead of versus technical violators of artificially low posted speed limits to produce revenue. Ticket revenue will decrease but safety will increase. Each governmental region in the UK must decide which is more important -- collecting ticket revenue or saving lives? I know how the Association of British Drivers and the US NMA would vote, how will the various UK regional governments vote?
Regards, James C. Walker, Member of the National Motorists Association (like the ABD), www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA (I am a very frequent visitor to Britain, my wife is from West Yorkshire.)

James C. Walker, Member-National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

posted by jcwconsult [4 posts]
23rd August 2010 - 16:45

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if the cameras are such a great revenue generator – which always seems to be a significant pillar of the anti-camera argument – why are they turning them off when money's tight?

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posted by Dave Atkinson [6714 posts]
23rd August 2010 - 17:25

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