Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Friday, January 11, 2013
TOWNS and villages concerned about speeding traffic can install their own speed cameras – if they are willing to pay for them.
A councillors’ review into Cambridgeshire’s road safety strategy recommended that the county council’s policy “should be amended so that safety cameras can be introduced if local communities express their desire to have and are willing to pay all associated costs and liabilities”.
But the review group’s proposal was turned by CCC’s cabinet because the authority said its existing policy does not preclude communities from installing cameras and paying the running costs.
Ramsey councillor Peter Reeve, who was involved in the review, said he was now helping parish councils look into the option.
“When we have asked questions in the past, we have always been told that we cannot have speed cameras unless we have a high number of killed or seriously injured,” he said.
However, the price of installing a camera could be prohibitive – cameras cost about £50,000 to install and about the same amount to run each year.
The cabinet’s response to the recommendation goes onto say: “Such proposals can be considered subject to an evaluation of need, and potential effectiveness. Assessment would need to take into account compliance with relevant legislation, and in liaison with the police.”
The road safety review also highlighted several other issues, including the “perceived lack of direction with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP)”, Cllr Reeve added.
But he believes the council is simply paying “lip service” to the review’s 19 recommendations.
“Cabinet has shown some quite serious lack of vision in not taking on board quite a number of the recommendations,” he said.
Some of those refused include a recommendation to appoint an officer with responsibility for leading the whole road safety partnership. CCC says this is because that is “already enshrined within the remit of the director of infrastructure, management and operations”.
Cabinet also did not accept a suggestion that the council should investigate the possibility of helping young drivers lower their insurance costs by undertaking road safety education, saying there were already several similar schemes nationally.
However, it did to agree to more consultation about staffing changes that affect the road safety partnership and a provide a new, clear action plan for the CPRSP, along with the including schools representative on the board.
Cllr Tony Orgee, cabinet member for community infrastructure, said: “Cllr Reeve was aware of when the report was being presented to Cabinet but he was not at the meeting and did not send any comments or representations.
“The report was well received and the county council continues to take road safety issues very seriously.”
Last year Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue indicated that if things did not improve it would withdraw from the partnership, which tackles various road safety issues. Concerns included a lack of vision, leadership and commitment.