More speed cameras to be axed

  • More than 300 speed cameras due to be switched off
  • Post-election Government spending cuts to blame
  • West Midlands Police failed to save cameras

More than 300 speed cameras in the West Midlands are to be switched off, ironically, on April Fools Day. 

In an effort to save cash, a coalition of seven councils has announced the biggest single switch-off of speed cameras since the last election.

It has had funding for road safety sliced from £1.93 million this year to £750,000 for the period of 2011-2012.

The coalition had been looking for funding from elsewhere; West Midlands Police were approached, but failed to stump up the cash.

Many cameras are coming to the end of their useful lives and parts are becoming harder and more expensive to find, especially for those cameras using physical film instead of digital technology. Replacement would cost around £4 million, so as a result the coalition will be looking at other ideas to help reduce speeding in the area.

Tom Ansell, chairman of the West Midlands Planning and Transport Committee, blamed the switch-off on the Government's squeeze on public spending.

In recent weeks it has been announced that Staffordshire will be cutting road safety funding by 72%, resulting in the switching off of cameras in areas that experience lower accident rates. The switch-off will be on the condition that other speed management measures are brought in.

Other areas reported to be decommissioning cameras include Coventry, Nottingham, Norfolk and Wiltshire.