Wiltshire

Wiltshire and Swindon speed camera unit to close

The unit in charge of speed cameras in Wiltshire and Swindon is to close, with the loss of 40 jobs.

The partnership which runs the unit blamed a 27% cut in revenue from the Department of Transport (DfT) to local authorities.

A DfT spokesman said councils set their own priorities for spending the money they were given and they expected road safety to remain a priority.

It is likely the unit will close in October.

'Difficult decision'

The partnership is made up of Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council.

Its chairman, Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty, said they had received no commitment to what their budget would be for the next financial year.

He said: "This has been a very difficult decision and one that the partners have agonised over because we are of course committed to continuing to improve road safety.

"The statistics for Wiltshire and Swindon show that over the past four years there was a 33% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads.

"However speed is still a contributory factor in the cause of most serious accidents in spite of the fact that we remain one of the safest counties in the country for road safety."

He added: "Drivers should not think it is now safe for them to break the law and I want to emphasise that the police will continue to vigorously enforce speed limits across the county and promote safe driving."

Swindon's council was the first English local authority to abandon fixed speed cameras one year ago.

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