Tuesday 15 July 2008

Will this be as magic as their roundabout?

It is difficult to be definitive about the announcement from Swindon about withdrawing from the local "safety camera" partnership. They point out things that are demonstrably true, such as the money goes to the treasury, but also point at research into the statistics, which without seeing the figures is impossible to comment on. So it is impossible to say if they are the sane ones fighting against the camera stazi or if they are truly feckless endangerers of their resident's lives.

The council's position, that they think the $400,000 will be better spent on other measures is the key point and it would be nice to know that they have thought this through and are actually putting the public's safety first. As I understand it the economic argument is much less clear cut, given that while the revenue from the cameras heads to Westminster the money in question here will have originally been a grant from central government. I do hope that Swindon release the statistics they are basing this on, they may well already have done, I can't see them on swindon.gov.uk or in any of the press reports (the later being of no surprise, even if they have been released) and I will be interested to see what measures they will use instead. I think that both sides are probably somewhat correct cameras help, in some places, but you need other measures elsewhere.

The last point the coverage raises is if Swindon Borough Council are giving £.4m to Wiltshire & Swindon Safety Camera Partnership and the rest of Wiltshire is giving £1.2m how many real live human traffic police could you get for the £1.6 million pounds?

Of course they could just build more of these.

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