Oxfordshire County Council vote ditches speed cameras

Speed camera
Image caption Enforcement at mobile camera sites will cease with immediate effect

Oxfordshire could soon become a county with no speed cameras after a council vote to cut road safety funding.

Council leaders want to save £600,000 from their road safety budget - money which would have been given to the Thames Valley Road Safety Partnership.

The partnership operates the county's 72 fixed and 89 mobile camera locations and say they will now withdraw from the county by the end of the month.

The cabinet vote has to be ratified by the full council on Tuesday.

The partnership says the cut equates to a 71% drop in their income from the council and enforcement at mobile sites will cease "with immediate effect".

Partnership communication manager Dan Campsall said: "The cut in partnership funding is so drastic that full and immediate withdrawal of services is the only option.

"There's a serious danger we will see an increase in casulaties. We may be counting the cost of this in terms of bodies."

Although the cameras do generate cash from fines, the money is processed through the courts into central government coffers and not necessarily back into road safety.

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said they were merely passing on cuts imposed by central government.

Image caption Police in Swindon stepped in when the council cancelled camera funding

In July last year, Swindon Borough Council became the first English local authority to abandon speed cameras, but Wiltshire Police vowed to continue using mobile cameras.

Thames Valley Police Assistant Chief Constable John Campbell said: "Whilst we understand the great financial pressures, we are disappointed that the council have decided to withdraw from the Safer Roads Partnership.

"The Partnership has had considerable success in reducing fatal and serious injury collisions on the roads of Thames Valley.

"We are naturally concerned that the withdrawal of Oxfordshire from the Partnership may impact on the number of serious collisions in the county.

"Thames Valley Police will continue to work with the local authorities in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, who remain in the Safer Roads Partnership."

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