I have nothing against using speed cameras in appropriate locations, but the truth is that they have become a Treasury cash cow. Swindon Council were no doubt happy to keep them when they were allowed to spend the proceeds of fines themselves. Now that it all goes to HM Treasury they are not, and think that they could spent the £400k on other road safety measures like flashing speed warning signs.
I have a lot of sympathy with that, as I know they have far more effect on my driving behaviour than speed cameras do. If it can be proved that their effects are just as great as speed cameras, shouldn't local councils have the freedom to make the decision to replace the cameras? That, I think, is all Swindon Council is saying.
The anti-motorists will now descend on me like a ton of bricks and allege that if you break the speed limit - i.e break the law - you deserve to be fined. That may in theory be so, but if that were really the case the government would put speed restrictors in every car. Anyone who drives knows it just doesn't work like that. Drivers actually react more positively to carrots rather than sticks. And we are fed up with being treated like a cash cow. .
I remember a few years ago Barnet Council started removing traffic humps in certain areas, as they were felt to be unnecessary. The end of the world was predicted by those with a vested interest in predicting such things. I'm sure we would have heard by now if the good citizens of Barnet had been culled as a result of the disappearance of a few sleeping policemen.
Three cheers for Swindon councillors for daring to go against the orthodoxy