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Conservative Party pledges to block new UK speed cameras if elected

There will be no UK Government funding for new fixed speed cameras if the opposition Conservative party wins the next election, the party’s conference has been told. Shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, says councils would have to raise the money to install them and prove that they will cut road accidents. The party says councils will have to publish an annual report accounting for the use of each camera and consider alternatives such as vehicle-activated signs. Average speed cameras would continue to be used to enforce reduced speed limits during motorway roadworks, but the Conservatives say they ‘will stop the roll out of average speed cameras on urban roads’.

Right: Shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, is promising radical changes to enforcement in the UK

The speed camera policy is part of a package of measures designed to tackle ‘unnecessary disruption’ on the country’s roads. Other pledges made during the transport session at the party conference in Manchester included new laws to be introduced to stop motorways being closed for hours after accidents. They will also highlight the problem of traffic lights staying on red for longer than is necessary, as well as introducing new legislation to stop ‘rogue’ car clampers. There will also be new measures to stop congestion caused by repeated road works and to allow councils to pilot their own traffic schemes – such as allowing cyclists to turn left on red lights, or for traffic lights to be automatically set to amber at night.

“Labour’s army of speed cameras is not the best way to make our roads safer,” Villiers said at the Conservative party conference. “Labour’s dependence on fixed speed cameras has blinded them to the effectiveness of the alternatives. It is time to say enough is enough on fixed speed cameras – we have reached the high water mark.”

She says fixed speed cameras “should be judged on their merits in terms of preventing accidents. Electing a Conservative government would signal the end of the relentless expansion of fixed speed cameras. Under Labour, getting around has become a daily grind. A Conservative Government will focus on tackling the congestion that is costing the economy billions, and the resulting hassle that has made traveling in the UK so grim. We will empower road users with the information they need to understand and influence the decisions which affect their daily commute.”

 

October 7, 2009

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