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Speed camera unit staff given redundancy notices

STAFF at the speed camera unit in Cumbria have been handed redundancy notices.

STAYING: A static speed camera on Salthouse Road, Barrow LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 0274042

The 26-strong workforce at Cumbria Safety Camera Partnership have all been told their jobs are officially under threat.

The unit, based at police HQ in Penrith, maintains the county’s six fixed Gatsos and four mobile speed cameras.

Doubts first emerged over the future of the partnership last year when the government cut the national road safety budget by £38m.

Cumbria lost £255,000, of which £213,000 was for speed cameras.

But bosses at the unit say they are confident speed cameras in the county will remain at their present level.

Cameras in other parts of the UK have been mothballed because of budget cuts.

Kevin Tea, manager of the partnership, said: “The redundancy process has been undertaken purely as a legal process, while the council, police and other agencies decide who will pay for what. I am very confident the unit will continue, though there may be some job losses in some way.

“I am confident the present level of speed cameras in Cumbria will be maintained when the process is complete.

“Since the government came to power, it has cut off funds for cameras.

“That has meant we have been forced to look for alternative ways of funding, and negotiations are ongoing to see how that can be achieved.”

Traffic management officer Roger Mallett is responsible for police road safety issues in south Cumbria.

Speaking from the Roads Policing Unit based at Ulverston police station, Mr Mallett believes getting rid of speed cameras would be “a backwards step”.

Mr Mallett said: “Speed cameras significantly help to improve road safety and I would like to see them retained. They have helped, inpartnership with other methods, to reduce the number of collisions on our roads over the last 10 years and it would be a backwards step if they were scrapped.”

Cumbria has four mobile speed cameras, which can be deployed at 250 sites. There are six sets of static cameras: on the A595 at Howgate; the A69 at Low Row; the A685 at Kirkby Stephen; Salthouse Road in Barrow; the A590 at Millside; and the A591 at Ings.

Another pair at Corby Hill, between Carlisle and Brampton, will be in place by December.

Have your say

Seve7. Speed cameras only stop accidents at the sight of the camera they do not catch illegal drivers or drunk drivers they do not catch people who speed before and after the camera or on the roads without a camera. Therefore they are in effective at preventing accidents anywhere other than there current location. So therefore they are a cash collection facility. They didn't stop the recent fatal accidents in the town did they. Less cameras and more traffic police is the answer

Posted by Frustrated on 12 January 2011 at 14:32

Why does it take 2.6 people to 'maintain' each camera in the county?

Whilst I don't want to see any one made compulsorily redundant I would also be equally interested in finding out exactly what roles each of those 26 staff have and what percentage of the £213k was spent on salaries?

Posted by Tony on 12 January 2011 at 14:02

View all 11 comments on this article

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