FOUR months on from the scrapping of speed cameras in Swindon no increase in accidents has been reported on the roads affected.
This was the message from Coun Peter Greenhalgh, Swindon Council’s lead member for transport, who said the withdrawal of the cameras meant money could now be spent more effectively.
Five cameras across the town were deactivated on July 31 after Swindon Council withdrew its membership of the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership over funding issues.
Asked at Monday’s Scrutiny Committee meeting what impact there had been since the decision Coun Greenhalgh (Con, Freshbrook and Grange Park) said there had been no discernible effect on speed levels.
He said: “I can only speak about places where cameras have been removed.
“There has been no increase in accidents at those locations. Speed is an issue but there’s no evidence speeds have increased on those roads. We often get people saying speeds are too fast on a certain road then, when we do some analysis, we don’t get any evidence of that.”
Coun Greenhalgh said the £320,000 road safety budget was now being directed to other areas.
He said: “We are now refocusing our resources on delivering elements such as proper accident investigation.
“We are also looking at things like signage and at road layout. We need to focus on methods that make it harder for people to speed in the first place.”
Scrutiny chairman Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Central) pointed out that the council was still failing on its promise to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Swindon’s roads by 40 per cent from the 2005 figure.
The latest statistics show that 81 people were killed or seriously injured between August 2008 and August 2009, against a target of 57.
Coun Greenhalgh said: “There are a number of things we can do to reduce the risk but we cannot prevent people from getting killed on our roads.
“Road users have to take responsibility for their actions.”
Coun Stan Pajak (Lib Dem, Eastcott) asked if the road safety budget could be used to provide a pedestrian crossing on Drove Road, as requested by residents.
Coun Greenhalgh said that the cost of such a scheme would take up a third of the budget.