Hammond rejects Gatso switch-off fears
* Transport secretary: 'It's not about speed cameras' * Road safety remains Government priority * Many groups say switch-off will cost lives...
Cuts in road safety budgets and the switch-off of speed cameras will not lead to an increase in road deaths, says Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, rejecting the fears of motoring bodies and safety groups.
Several groups signed up to a letter to Hammond over fears that cuts in safety budgets and a decline in speed-camera use could cause 100 extra deaths a year. However the transport secretary told whatcar.com: 'I don't accept that at all. It's not just about speed cameras.'
Hammond said road safety remains a high priority for the Government, but that local authorities would be given greater freedom to make decisions.
Hammond argues this will make better use of money, because councils can target spending on specific problems and areas in their control.
However, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the AA, the Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers, the CTC (the UK's National Cyclists' Organisation), GEM Motoring Assist, the Institute of Road Safety Officers, the London Road Safety Council, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and Road Safety GB all think 100 lives could be lost through a new wave of speeding as cameras are switched off to cope with cuts.