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Speed cameras to be switched on across Somerset
10:50am Thursday 20th February 2014 in News
SPEED cameras will soon be switched back on after Somerset County Council agreed to sell them to Avon & Somerset Police.
The decision was made by councillors to transfer ownership of the cameras to the force for £1 each.
Cameras were switched off in Somerset in 2011 following discussions with the Safety Camera Partnership.
Last June, Chief Constable Nick Gargan called for them to be turned back on and opened up new conversations with the council to consider if fixed safety cameras could be reintroduced.
He and the council have now agreed the police will take responsibility and ownership of the cameras and operate them on the highway network "on the proviso that no costs whatsoever are incurred by the county council."
Cabinet member for Highways Cllr Harvey Siggs said: “We will continue to work closely with the police to improve highway safety and reduce traffic speeds at known road casualty sites.
"The police have agreed to take full responsibility for the cost and maintenance of the fixed safety cameras and will enforce all speeding offences, and we support them in their decision.”
Superintendent Ian Smith said: “We are pleased that plans to reinstate static speed cameras in Somerset have moved a step closer.
"We are keen to reinstate fixed cameras in Somerset as soon as possible and we will promote the activation when it happens.
“The ongoing work we have undertaken with our partners to reinstate static speed cameras in the force area is based on national research showing that cameras add value to road safety.
"There is also more than £2million worth of camera infrastructure currently lying dormant on the roadsides in the force area.
"We believe that the static cameras can be operated in a cost-neutral way and that reactivating them for use alongside our mobile camera vans will help in making our roads safer.”