Speed camera cut backlash grows

AA says local roads could become 'race tracks'

by Mark Appleton   September 7, 2010  


As the effect of decisions by several local councils to disable speed cameras starts to become clear, the Automobile Association is questioning the government budget cuts which have prompted the action.

Councils began switching off their cameras in response to cuts to road safety funding by central government, but as residents in affected areas become increasingly alarmed by the degree to which motorists are speeding through their communities, the calls for a rethink are growing.

The AA has written to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond about the matter and is due to meet ministers. The organisation said: "The AA is concerned that the views of motorists are not being reflected accurately in this debate and that ultimately lives are at risk."

The AA refers to a public backlash against the switch-off, including in Oxfordshire where all 72 fixed and 89 mobile-site cameras were switched off on August 1. 

There, Carla Bramble, a 45-year-old housewife and lifelong resident on the A44 Woodstock Road said: “Cars used to slow down when they saw the camera and, because there is another one along the road, they would maintain that speed.

"But now they belt along the road as fast as they like. People have read the papers and they know that all the cameras are off. They know they can go as fast as they want on this road now, and that is what they seem to be doing."

Edmund King, AA president, said: "There is currently a road safety policy void which could lead to an increase in crashes. Locally, decisions are being made based on harsh financial reality, coupled with perceptions of what the Government's longer term intentions might be.

"Local people are more concerned about the 'battle to save lives' on local roads that could become race tracks rather than any 'war on the motorist'."

7 user comments

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Blimey, who would've thunk we'd be lining up with the AA?

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [229 posts]
7th September 2010 - 17:24


A load of rubbish. The cars used to slow down for the cameras and then speed up again. Now they carry on without slowing down. And the net effect for road safety was nil from having speed cameras. Analyse the data on the benefits they brought. There weren't any. The DfT won't come out and say that because it'd be too embarassing.


posted by OldRidgeback [2532 posts]
7th September 2010 - 20:45


True, elsewhere they were not slowing down but the net effect for road safety was not nil. People near the cameras are complaining that cars are going faster, that's not nil.

posted by horizontal dropout [223 posts]
7th September 2010 - 21:43


Forcing people to slow down on suburban roads or going through towns and villages - which is what a lot of speed cameras do is surely not a nil benefit for road safety. It's definitely not a nil benefit for the quality of life of the people who live by the roads or the pedestrians that have to cross them.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
7th September 2010 - 22:16


average speed cameras, that's where it at. and hide them, too, while we're about it.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7804 posts]
7th September 2010 - 22:37

1 Like

What I don't understand is that the cameras raise £100m each year for the Treasury, which funds much of the expenditure incurred by local government, which spends £38m on maintaining the cameras. Net cost £62m.

posted by rtewk [1 posts]
8th September 2010 - 16:09


At the Vuelta Espana watching "Manxboy rack up the wins!

Speed cameras make $US100m an this is net to treasury and the new gov. is so flush it oes not need the money?

Give the money to the "Paralympics and "Help4Heroes" then but don´t let the hoons endanger life with this "Laissez faire/Cavelair attitude!

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [406 posts]
10th September 2010 - 21:24

1 Like