Hundreds of cameras face switch-off

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More than 370 speed cameras are to be switched off from April 1 in the biggest camera cutback since 1992.

A survey of the 37 speed camera partnerships in England and Wales found they were cutting the number of operational fixed sites by nearly 10% following a reduction in central government funding.

In most cases the camera housing will remain but the photographic equipment will be removed.

The West Midlands will see the most cuts, with 200 out of 304 cameras to be decommissioned, according to the Sunday Times survey.

In Somerset, all 17 cameras are to be turned off.

However in Scotland, all 233 fixed cameras will remain in service.

Cameras at risk include those on the A537 Cat and Fiddle from Macclesfield in Cheshire, to Buxton, Derbyshire.

The rear-facing cameras were installed on the popular biking route last spring at a cost of £800,000, but have been dormant for a year after MCN revealed they could not catch speeders because of an oversight.

They are supposed to measure average speeds by timing vehicles between one installation and the next, but planners overlooked a shortcut which leaves and rejoins the A537 between two camera sites. With no way of telling whether vehicles have taken the shortcut, the cameras cannot calculate their speed because they do not know how far they have travelled.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell