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Speed camera cutbacks across county

PUBLISHED: 14:16 07 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:59 16 September 2010

SPEED camera coverage across Norfolk is to be cut drastically as the county's enforcement team faces big economies after the withdrawal of government funding.

SPEED camera coverage across Norfolk is to be cut drastically as the county's enforcement team faces big economies after the withdrawal of government funding.

Staff at Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership have just received a letter telling them that 15 people, half of the workforce, is to be redeployed or made redundant.

Police would not comment on precisely how the reduction would affect enforcement. However, the EDP understands it will mean roughly 75pc fewer of the county's 23 fixed cameras will be “live” at any one time. There would also be fewer mobile cameras in operation.

Other services, such as speed awareness messages - a mobile system that highlights vehicles' speed - are expected to be scrapped entirely.

Norfolk County Council and the county's constabulary have been talking about the future of speed cameras since the government withdrew £440,000 in funding.

Authorities across the country are expected to take similar decisions soon; Oxfordshire County Council has already turned off all cameras.

A police spokesman said: “Road safety is a priority for Norfolk Constabulary and our partners, and together we are looking at ways to provide a flexible and efficient service to the public with the national funding that's now available to us.

“While it is inevitable the number of mobile camera vans will reduce, with fewer fixed cameras active at any one time, our focus remains on working with our partners to address road safety issues in the county.

“The number of camera housings will remain the same as they act as a speed deterrent to drivers”.

The news comes at a time when Norfolk police are preparing for extensive cuts, including a 10pc reduction in the number of officers on our streets.

One member of staff, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes it is the beginning of the end for the speed camera unit, saying: “The view of the team is that in four to six months the whole partnership will be wound down. With the numbers we're talking about, if one operator goes sick or on leave there will very little coverage; therefore, speeding will increase and figures go up.”

Although staff had been bracing themselves for cuts, the timing of the announcement came as a surprise, as they had been told that County Hall would meet to discuss its policy later this month.

Nationally, road safety charities fear the projected cuts will undo the good work being done to cut the number of road casualties.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: “We are horrified that vital road safety work is grinding to a halt as a result of draconian funding cuts made by the government.”


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