Oxfordshire's cameras to be switched back on?
Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council are close to agreeing a new arrangement that would see safety cameras on the county's roads switched back on.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “We are committed to deliver the government's road safety strategy to reduce the numbers killed and seriously injured on our roads. This is delivered through enforcement, education and engineering.
"The main areas where enforcement takes place is through mobile and fixed safety cameras, and from this we can divert drivers into education as an alternative to prosecution.
"Speed continues to be one of the main risk factors on the roads, and the safety cameras form an important part of tackling driver behaviour. We want to have the capability to enforce this legislation effectively across the whole of Thames Valley and we have been working very hard at a national level to find a solution to the current funding issues.
"We have been in regular communication with Oxfordshire County Council since the cameras were withdrawn, and welcome their decision to support a new model.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said: "It was common knowledge that the government would be making huge cutbacks from April 2011 onwards. However, it could not have been foreseen that there would be huge and dramatic cutbacks to grants that had already been agreed and signed off by the previous government for the 2010/11 financial year. There was therefore no way any of us could have known that the Road Safety Grant would be cut - and that is what led to the switching off of speed cameras.
"We've been in discussion with our partners at Thames Valley Police and we're close to an agreement to have them switched back on. I look forward to being able to reveal the detail of that agreement in future weeks."
The 72 fixed camera sites in Oxfordshire were turned off in August after the county council withdrew its funding to the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership.
The decision to switch the cameras back on was apparently made following discussions with Mike Penning MP, road safety minister, chief constable Mick Giannasi, ACPO lead on roads policing, and deputy chief constable Adam Briggs, ACPO chair of roads policing operations.
The number of drivers speeding past Oxfordshire's deactivated safety cameras increased by up to 88%, according to an earlier BBC News report.