The sensationalist headline that we were wrong to turn off speed cameras was misleading and confused.
Northamptonshire has a strong record in reducing road casualties. It is also important to note there is no evidence that switching off the fixed speed cameras has had a direct impact on the number of accidents across the county.
Furthermore, at the end of 2010, the council learnt that the Government would be cutting the funding that supported the work of Northamptonshire’s Casualty Reduction Partnership.
At a time when the council faces ever increasing pressures on its budget, the loss of this grant meant we had to take the difficult decision to withdraw our financial support from the Casualty Reduction Partnership.
However, as the police are ultimately responsible for speed cameras and enforcement in the county, the cut in Government grant meant they took the decision to switch off the cameras to concentrate their resources on mobile speed cameras.
This resulted in almost 22,000 speeding tickets being issued in 2011-12.
The council remains committed to working with the police to help reduce the number of accidents on our roads. We have retained a small dedicated road safety team that concentrates on education, accident analysis and engineering interventions.
Despite the huge financial challenges that continue to place massive pressures on the council’s budget, we remain committed to ensuring that resources remain available so that we can work with the police to help reduce the number of casualties on our roads.
The county council will continue to monitor the number of accidents and will analyse all the available data to examine the causes of collisions to see if any patterns emerge.
In addition to this the police will continue to concentrate on enforcement, including the targeted use of mobile safety cameras in locations across the county. We will continue to work collaboratively on road safety issues to maintain a joined-up approach. As part of this, we have developed new ways of working actively across the full range of services.
This includes the Fire and Rescue Service, who now have new Initial Intervention vehicles which add extra flexibility in the attendance at major road traffic accidents on the major routes such as the M1 and A14 that traverse our County.
We have always taken road safety issues seriously and will continue to do so in the future.
Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage
Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Public Protection