back to article Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

A Conservative government would end support for local congestion charging schemes and stop funding new fixed speed cameras Theresa Villiers, the party's transport shadow minister, said that councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes: "When local authorities want to innovate and try out new ways to make …

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They need to walk the walk....

Are they going to pass this information onto their flagship councils - Westminster has more CCTV than any other borough, and raises more funds through traffic control than any other borough by a significant margin. Another nice sound bite contradicted by the Conservatives behaviour where are in power...

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Mat
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Hmmm.

At first glance that all looks like common sense.

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Good

Let's hope they stick to this.

Police cars are a much more useful speeding deterrent and tend to make drivers think a bit more.

Unmarked cars - doubly so.

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Stop

The thing about the congestion charge...

...is that it works. Roll it out nationwide, do us all a favour.

Best thing Ken Livingstone ever did IMO.

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Stop

Yeah...

And now she's got to get it past the ACPO and the police. And we all know how good they are at removing speed cameras.

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Hooray, common sense at last.

On a couple of roads nr us, the pro camera campaigners show that since cameras we installed there has been a 50% reduction in accidents on the duall carriageways

Of course other may argue, it's the two extra sets of lights at bad junctions, the closing of gaps in the central resevations, the extension of the length of slip roads, better lighting, better road layouts the anti skid surfacing at islands, the cutting back of hedges on "blind" junctions.

But no, it's the speed cameras that have done it.

Sometimes they are justifed, but many times they are there for cash. Usally decent signs or road marking will do just as good.

(yes I got done by one several years ago, on a different dual carriageway, doing 55 in a 60 because, and I quote "The section of road has a track record of excessive speed"

Well when you set a speed limit of 50 on a perfectly good bit of dual carriageway (apart from a single sharp bend), of course you get excessive speed i.e 60 -70mph.

Our village opted away from cameras (the residents opposed them) and instead created a couple of sections where the road was reduced to single lane, put in an extra set of crossing lights and a mini roundabout.

Job done. Everyones happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Call me an ostritch...

... but I thought that the, "cash cow camera culture," had already reached the end of the road with newer roadside distance camera/video systems already.

Either me or the Conservatives have missed something here.

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Unhappy

Dammit!!

I really wish the Tories would stop talking sense.

If they keep this up, I'm gonna have to vote for them! *shudder*

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Yay for populist measures!

...except, the population is stupid.

The problem is this, many speed cameras do work and do in fact make roads much safer by forcing people to slow down. Similarly congestion charges do cut congestion, and also cut pollution- even if you don't buy the global warming argument it's good to have cleaner air, better moving roads and so on.

No one likes congestion charges, no one likes speed cameras, but they really are a necessary evil for a population that can't act sensibly by itself like that here in the UK. So here's the crux of it- those who oppose these changes don't oppose them because they have done any research into whether they work or not- they can't, because they do work. They oppose them because they're the ones that want to speed, who believe they can drive safely at high speeds and only find out they in fact can't when they kill someone, they oppose congestion charges because they want to be able to drive their kids half a mile to school in the chelsea tractor and not see any repercussions, despite the fact that en-masse, they're holding up business users, making them late and as such, actually causing real cost damage to the economy.

I hate the nanny state, but the fact is, in some areas, large parts of our population really cannot sensibly look after themselves. I applaud the Tories commitment to opening up data on cameras so that yes, some can be removed where they're truly stupid, but their commitment to no more cameras at all and to scrapping congestion charges is idiotic.

Coupled with the fact the Tories have announced no anonymity for criminals and they're finally showing their true colours- equally as idiotic as Labour after all, just in different ways. Either the criminal justice system works and someone does their time and comes out rehabilitated, or it doesn't work and you keep them locked up. You don't release them then tell people who live near them about their crime else rehabilitation is pointless, and we've seen so many times how wrong these things can go, particularly when vigilantiism becomes part of it.

I'll be interested to hear if the Tories announce any technology related policies, if they're not different to Labours dated, ignorant and inept technology policy then we're basically just getting more of the same next year and might as well just keep Brown in as it's the same difference, not that I'm suprised of course. If only we lived in a non-FPTP, two party state then we might see real change.

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Control cars, and also control drivers

The issue is real simple.

We kill 3,000 people a year on the roads. Most are pedestrians, many are children. This is not acceptable. We also seriously injure well north of 20,000, which is also not acceptable.

If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live.

So, we do need speed cameras, because we need speed limits to be real and enforced like any other law. We do not need advisory speed limits which are widely ignored. We need real, rigorously enforced ones. We need the speed limit to be 20mph in residential areas and near schools, shops, community centres and the like. We need to bring the death rate and injury rate down to the irreducible minimum.

Funnily enough, by doing this, we will actually increase traffic flow and decrease congestion.

People who cannot manage to drive within the speed limit are simply incompetent drivers, and not safe on the roads. They are like people who are legally blind, who are also not allowed to drive. They must be moved to buses or bicycles. Or perhaps they should walk, or use electric mopeds.

I am not anti-car. I drive all the time, and observe all speed limits staying a few mph under them. Its not hard, it just requires attention. Driving does. My view is that much as I appreciate the car and its conveniences, I do not like cars enough to like being killed by one, or having my nearest and dearest killed by one. Control the things, and more important, control the drivers!

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scrap cameras?

i wonder......how about getting rid of those ridiculous car sharing lane as well???

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Anonymous Coward

Anyone else?

Keep hearing good policies coming forth from the Tories now.. Why can't someone UKIP or Lib Dems come up with stuff like this? I don't wanna vote for the Tories :(

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Do you believe?

A Government which is going to think before they legislate.

We are doing this for the good of Society. The money doesn't matter to us. We want what is best for Us as a Society.

Next thing they will announce tougher laws on hoodies and more prisons for scum.

And then once they get in they will announce a review which will last 4 years and then conveniently forget all their promises.

I wish I could believe but I don't. But maybe I'll be surprised. But if you don't Vote you can't complain. So get out and Vote for somebody/anybody.

Me I'm Voting Lib Dem. Time for a change

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Yay!

...now all they need to do is:

- Get some more bloody traffic cops on the beat, to catch the real hazards on the road. I'm looking at you, "max power brigade", and the phone-totting, tail-gating white van man. And that git who insists on doing 65mph in the 3rd lane, overtaking 2 clear miles of fresh air - you know the guy - he'll *maybe* let you past...but will immediately pull back into the 3rd lane afterwards, to resume his overtaking maneouver on the same 2miles of fresh air.

- get the silver haired cap wearers to resit their test every 3 yrs; and anyone caught trundling along at 42mph (or less) oblivious to the indicator they've left on, or what the white lines on roads and roundabouts mean (no...taking the "racing line" across 3 lanes at 9mph does not make you a good driver), gets a retest anyway. Fail = 3 months ban.

- actually teach people to drive properly, instead of treating us all like muppets by whacking up 40mph zones on dual carraigeways. Currently enforceable by cameras, obviously...

- Repair the damn roads so we don't have to weave about avoiding potholes like drunken squirrels with ADD. And than also means taking away the damned speed bumps and road restrictions - some of which were obviously designed by a raging lunatic.

- ban anything that does less than 35mpg on the urban cycle, instead of the conjestion charge. That'll keep the X5 totting mum's from clogging the roads too...

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Hmmm

Well, they WOULD say that, wouldn't they? Anything to try and swing public opinion their way:

"Ah, now, what can we do, Sir Humphrey? Got it! Speed cameras! That's it. Publicly reviled. That'll do nicely. Next up - abolition of the ID card scheme".

Mind you, it won't take much to swing over to the Conservatives these days, the way Labour have been acting of late!

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DT

smart move

Enforcing the law is so passe and unpopular these days, so this is the smart move by the libertarian conservatives.

Some people might say that if you fail to spot one of those massive roadside cameras and the lines on the road, you weren't paying attention enough, but I say, that I'm a law abiding citizen, driving at 50 in a 30 zone is clearly a victimless crime, despite what the "statistics" on road traffic accidents show.

I hope they relax the rules on drink driving and giving the wife a slap whilst they're at it.... the current mob are such a bunch of killjoys and things were so much more civilised back in the 70s.

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Anonymous Coward

Time Trials

Look, a Time Trial is a competition where drivers follow a normal road course, and, with the aid of a co-driver attempt to keep their average speed as close to a target as possible.

A drive to work in Wales, is similar, only without the co-driver to help and with penalties if you get it wrong, and to top it off, there are lots of children around, so you have to balance your checking the speedo with the checking for kids.

Oh, and this is done because back in 70's a man drew a graph of (ratio of fatalities to non fatal accidents) vs speed, and f*cked it up. Causing generations of experts to later focus on changing fatal accidents into non fatal ones, forgetting the best way to reduce road deaths is to PREVENT THE ACCIDENT FATAL OR NON FATAL.

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Megaphone

Hit and Run Drivers Charter

Thats what it sounds like to me.

The Tories, although out of touch, were a pretty decent lot in the days they were run by toffs. Not any more.

Once they let the Jeramy Clarkson element in they have turned into bunch of spiteful, selfish chav's who want the right to race around our towns and villages unfettered, on brand new roads paid for out of the NHS cancer care budget.

And to think we're sleep walking into letting a government run by vicious minded Daily Mail reading estate agents and second hand car dealers into power. God help us.

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Anonymous Coward

Things Can Only Get Better

Maybe it's just me, but I get an eerie feeling of Deja Vu over the forthcoming Conservative election victory.

I'm no Tory fanboi - the very idea of giving them my vote rather sickens me - but New Labour's totalitarian dictatorship ideology is so dangerous and has to be stopped that tactically I have little choice. I expect it to be a landslide win.

Bizarrely, the Tories are much more in line with my political ethos than New Labour are on the really important issues so, while stopping New Labour will be a satisfying thing, I can't help but worry what the price of that will be a few years down the line.

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Anonymous Coward

If cars couldn't speed...

...there'd be no need for the cameras!

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Who's cash cow?

As much as I would like to see the end of the current dictatorship and the return to using qualified Police officers who's ONLY interest is road safety. I think this one is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Gestapo cameras were introduce by the last Tory government and they have always been used primarily as a legalised form of mugging. Even when sited near accident spots they were normally setup facing away from the trouble to catch motorists speeding up.

That Maus Gatsonides should be associated with the Gestapo camera is horrifically ironic given his personal history. But like so many good ideas it can be abused.

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hmm

I'm all for getting rid of speed cameras, especially considering something like 95% of accidents having nothing to do with speeding. Not sure about the congestion charging though. I quite like being able to get on a bus in London and get to my destination without being delayed by tons of traffic.

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MnM
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Damn right (npi)

In giving up their own identity, Labour seem to have managed to spread their malaise to the entire kingdom. Despite foreign policy seeming to trump home affairs (war stories take precedence over the nanny state), it's this government's domestic policy that sticks in my throat. On the world stage the UK is one of many players, whereas at home we are exclusively self-governed. Too often, home doesn't feel like home. This article raised a guarded cheer.

Pint of bitter for Mr Clarke.

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Flame

I call headline grabbing bullshit

Cameras are worth far too much in revenue to the Exchequer for them to ever to be scrapped. Or maybe this is just typical polictio weasel words? She mentions "fixed cameras", perhaps the Tories are backing a legion of mobile units (do they have shares in the company doing the conversion?)

The cameras raise millions every year to cover MPs expenses (you think the money is hypothecated? You think wrong). You think the bunch of corrupt arseholes in our government will cut off part of their gravy train? You think wrong again.

If they actually gave two shits about road safety, we would not have the third licensing directive fiasco, we'd still have traffic police and the roads would not look like the face of the moon. But caring about safety and actually improving things means less tickets, less fines, less revenue, less champagne for the Westminster bars.

Democracy is dead in this country. If you think your vote will make any differences whatsoever, then go on and waste your time. The government in Westminster has no real power, all they do is enact the diktats from the unelected quangos in Brussels (who are so secretive, you are not allowed to see their minutes and so corrupt that their accounts have not been signed off for years).

We are compelled to deport our citizens to foreign powers with dubious judicial regimes because of the EU. Do the Tories have anything to say about that? No. Why not? Because it doesn't grab headlines like "Oooh, we love you really. Look, no cameras! Be a good sheep and do as you are told, peasant."

MPs are too busy schmoozing bankers for those lovely post-MP directorships ("post"? Who the hell am I kidding; during!) to give two damns about you or me. But they'll say they do. They'll say what you want to hear. And you'll lap it up. You know you will.

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FAIL

FIXED

Notice the use of the word FIXED prefixing SPEED CAMERA.

That is because fixed cameras are almost useless and generate little or no monies, lets face it with SAT-NAV and such being in most cars and local knowledge thrown in too only the stupid people get caught by a fixed camera. Indeed many councils are now removing them as they are costing too much money and only slow drivers down for about ten metres.

Mobile vans and average speed devices (including the new mobile average speed device) are a different kettle of fish though, fixed average speed cameras work well reducing the mean average to below the limit in force, and vans are still a nice little earner with the scope of adding mobile phone use and other similar offences to their remit.

Why is it with our career politicians you always have to read BETWEEN the lines, and what they don't say means more than what they do say?

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Syd
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Until they get into government...

... when they will take a look at the revenue, which would have to be replaced from other sources, and develop a mysterious case of amnesia.

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Anonymous Coward

Pathetic

They think they can win votes by promising to get rid of the "cash cow" speed cameras. So they're going to make up the deficit by raising taxes instead. And they think we're too stupid to understand that.

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Yeah Right

I guess the Cons will also make my c**k bigger and wife more attractive?

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Linux

Good - Transport sanity rumoured to be coming the UK sometime soon

Now make my day. Give us a EU referendum today and have Harriet Harman deported to pluto.

Oh bliss!

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About time too

I'm all for increased road safety, but cameras have a reputation for being located in prime cash generating spots. I believe this is largely because of the lack of published effectiveness data - if they really are so great then show us all the data and we will maybe start to support them.

Publishing data about effectiveness and encouraging the most effective strategies for road safety sounds eminently sensible, so I'm skeptical that it'll ever happen but let's see.

I support driver education and traffic police personally, you only have to drive ten miles to see numerous examples of bad driving which cameras cannot prevent. Perhaps if drivers thought that a policeman may stop them for a little chat, they might take more care when driving a 2 ton lump of metal through busy streets.

I'm not a saint in the car, but I do try to drive responsibly. A policeman has the opportunity to apply some judgement in any action to be taken, at least in theory this should allow them to encourage good driving habits rather than blind avoidance of cameras.

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FAIL

They'd have my vote just for this...

... if it wasn't for the fact they won't give us a referendum on Europe.

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WTF?

Clarkson vote

Surely the Tories already have the Clarkson vote, so there's no need for this sort of pandering, is there?

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"councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes"

Oh god no. This is terrible news.

Car GPS tracking? Average speed cameras?

At least with speed cameras I know where I stand, and I only have to be going the speed limit for that 20 meter stretch.

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click

Don't forget it was the Tories who introduced the scameras in the first place!

Sounds like more populist crap to me.

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Hmm

Sounds like a vote-winner.

Part of me would like to qualify "No congestion charging" with "unless and until local public transport meets the following standards: ....." but another part of me is sure that's never going to fly. After all, public transport good enough for people not to need cars would break the taxation policy of pretending that a car is a luxury aot the necessity it really is.

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Anonymous Coward

Good for drivers

But I'd like to see the Tories put that money into policing the roads, and catching the idiots who perform dangerous manoeuvres. I'd also like to see reforms to the current testing regime, as being able to do well in one forty minute test doesn't necessarily mean that you are a good driver (especially in areas where there is predominantly one type of road - you should have to show that you can cope with both windy country lanes and 70mph dual carriageways). And something better than the hazard perception test - I personally can't see exactly how it is effective.

Though I think that saying that no speed cameras will be funded is a mistake. The ones that are effective in reducing accidents at particular blackspots should be funded.

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Megaphone

One sure-fire vote winner.

Outlaw private wheel clamping.

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Just to point out that

...even if the government stats were correct, getting hit at 40mph is not the same as driving at 40mph because drivers generally brake if some idiot steps out into the road. It also doesn't answer the question of what the person was doing walking out in front of a car.

As others have pointed out there are many, many, other things which can be done to reduce accidents, even simple things like cutting hedges!

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Don't throw your vote away!

"Me I'm Voting Lib Dem. Time for a change"

No offense intended but that's stupid. The recent conference has shown that the Lib Dems are just desperate to get into 2nd place.

The Tories need a huge upswing to cleanly take it. If you take your prejudices because of their name and history away, what is there to not like about their policies, and their fairly brutal honesty?

Or you could vote Lib Dem and make it more likely that Labour retain some influence. Our electoral system is deeply flawed, but as it stands, Conservative is the only sane vote if you don't want another 5 years of Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman thinking that they have the mandate to do whatever they like.

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WTF?

Admitting that stuff isn't working is a good thing

"Don't forget it was the Tories who introduced the scameras in the first place!"

I'll vote for the people who try something and admit it's not working and try something else over the people who try something then blame others and fake statistics when it doesn't work.

Also, was it the current Tory leadership who introduced them? Or are they damned by being in the same party some years later? That would be a logically bizarre way to judge the current party leadership.

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Speed is easy to measure

There is too much an emphasis on prosecuting people who drive too fast and as a result other things seem to be ignored, eg: people who drive too close to the car in front, or: people who undertake (overtake on the inside). I am not saying that speed is not dangerous, but so are other things.

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I'd Vote for this comment! ....

By Chris Redpath Posted Wednesday 7th October 2009 09:11 GMT

I'm all for increased road safety, but cameras have a reputation for being located in prime cash generating spots. I believe this is largely because of the lack of published effectiveness data - if they really are so great then show us all the data and we will maybe start to support them.

Publishing data about effectiveness and encouraging the most effective strategies for road safety sounds eminently sensible, so I'm skeptical that it'll ever happen but let's see.

I support driver education and traffic police personally, you only have to drive ten miles to see numerous examples of bad driving which cameras cannot prevent. Perhaps if drivers thought that a policeman may stop them for a little chat, they might take more care when driving a 2 ton lump of metal through busy streets.

I'm not a saint in the car, but I do try to drive responsibly. A policeman has the opportunity to apply some judgement in any action to be taken, at least in theory this should allow them to encourage good driving habits rather than blind avoidance of cameras.

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Coat

Tories pandering?

There's a surprise.

Unfortunately, given the state of Gordo-n-co's popularity, the Tories could announce the sacrifice of everyone's first-born as a policy initiative and still win. Remember the Thatcher years and prepare yourselves for a rocky ride.

Mine's the one with the UB40 in the pocket.

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@DT

"I'm a law abiding citizen, driving at 50 in a 30 zone is clearly a victimless crime"

If you're driving at 50 in a 30 zone, you're not a law-abiding citizen, are you?

I suspect that the 50 is more likely to be your IQ.

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Oh wait ...

Is there an election coming soon ?

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FIXED cameras only

Thanks to @Trevor Watt for saving me the trouble. You're spot on. Only the FIXED cameras are mentioned, which leaves the tories completely free to put up all sorts of other cameras without breaking their mandate.

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@ Cody, Lies Damned Lies and Statistics

I was wondering when someone would come up with this tired old statistic.

<quote>

If you look at the relation between death and speed it is roughly as follows. At 40mph 90% of struck pedestrians die. At 20mph 90% of struck pedestrians live.

</quote>

What that doesn't say is what the speed limit is where those struck at 40mph are. If it is 50 or 60 mph then it is irrelevant to include it in the numbers as speeding was obviously not an issue.

<quote>

So, we do need speed cameras, because we need speed limits to be real and enforced like any other law. We do not need advisory speed limits which are widely ignored. We need real, rigorously enforced ones.

</quote>

And what should be the speed limit for any particular road, on any particular day, in any particular weather ? Speeding may be illegal, but is not necessarily dangerous. Driving too fast does not necessarily mean you are speeding, but is always dangerous.

<quote>

We need the speed limit to be 20mph in residential areas and near schools, shops, community centres and the like. We need to bring the death rate and injury rate down to the irreducible minimum.

</quote>

And putting cameras that catch someone doing 65 on a clear dry day, on a motorway that someone has decided to set a 50 mph limit for no apparent reason, does this how ?

<quote>

People who cannot manage to drive within the speed limit are simply incompetent drivers, and not safe on the roads.

</quote>

People who cannot manage to drive at a safe speed are incompetent and not safe on the roads. As I have said, you can be driving too fast and not be speeding.

<quote>

I am not anti-car. I drive all the time, and observe all speed limits staying a few mph under them. Its not hard, it just requires attention. Driving does. My view is that much as I appreciate the car and its conveniences, I do not like cars enough to like being killed by one, or having my nearest and dearest killed by one. Control the things, and more important, control the drivers!

</quote>

Driving does require attention and I am sure that you pay a lot of attention to your speedo to ensure you stay under the limit. Competent drivers will know if they are going too fast by paying attention to the road and use the speedo as the over-riding decision maker, not the only decision maker.

Now what happens if someone driving in a 50 mph zone, watching their speedo conscientiously to ensure they are doing 40, and your kid runs out into the road from behind a hedge without looking, and the driver doesn't see them as they are busy concentrating on their speedo to even know there was a hedge to come out from behind and your kid becomes one of the 90% struck at 40mph ?

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Stop

@ Paul Chapman End See-Saw Politics

I'm not Voting for Tory because my Family need our Tax Credits to continue working to support my family and to contribute towards society.

I don't see why we should be punished because my wife enjoys her job and likes putting something back into the community in which we live. She doesn't get paid much but it will be enough to push us over the 50k limit for losing all our subsidies. Subsidies which go on Childcare.

And where is that money going to go. to pay Bank Bonus AND/OR To try and get the great unwashed and unemployable off their arse to get a job to help drag this country out of the mess the Banks have put us in.

I want a new way and as long as voters only consider 2 parties then see-saw politics will continue and nothing will change.

Thanks for taking part thought. Talking/debate is good

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FAIL

Parasites

"Theresa Villiers, the party's transport shadow minister, said that councils would be given more ability to introduce innovative schemes: "When local authorities want to innovate and try out new ways to make traffic flow more smoothly they'll get encouragement from Whitehall not the stonewalling and inflexibility for which Labour's Department for Transport is notorious."

I disagree with this. My local council are just parasites who want every possible piece of money they can lay their hands on which is why they won't want to "innovate". Escpecially if it reduces their cashflow.

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Stop

A big meh,

"Well when you set a speed limit of 50 on a perfectly good bit of dual carriageway (apart from a single sharp bend), of course you get excessive speed i.e 60 -70mph."

That's the problem. Speed limits are there to be obeyed...people who call cameras cash cows are people who consistently break the law because they think it doesn't apply to them are inviting points and fines, and potentially death (probably of someone else not in a huge chunk of metal travelling at 70).

Speed kills.

I suggest ditching random speed cameras all together and installing average speed checks EVERYWHERE. Drivers are not free to do whatever speed THEY think is safe. Drivers are given the privilege of driving, not the right, they need to do so according to the law. All this crying into their beer (before they get in their cars) really irks me because if they just obeyed the law, there wouldn't be a problem!

You are not being regulated, you are being policed. Don't break the law: don't get charged! Unbelievably simple.

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