Nation's speed camera network begins to crumble (cross your fingers)
Motorists in Oxfordshire can breathe a little easier today as the county's entire network of 72 speed cameras was switched off at midnight due to the coalition Government's funding cut.
The council's decision to completely withdraw from the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership has saved it £600,000. As the cameras make no money for local authorities (the cash goes straight to Westminster) there is no financial reason to retain them, and it seems likely that more councils will follow Oxfordshire's lead.
According to the Daily Mail, Northamptonshire and Somerset have already deactivated some of their cameras, while Bedfordshire, Suffolk and Derbyshire have all launched reviews. Buckinghamshire has already said it's 'very likely' to decommission its network. Swindon Borough Council abandoned its speed cameras a year ago.
Speaking to the BBC recently about Oxfordshire's action, 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."
In stark contrast Jeremy Clarkson, a local resident, told the Sunday Times: "It will make no difference to the speed anyone travels."
Only a speed camera advocate could make Top Gear's outspoken presenter sound entirely reasonable.