Government slammed over "hoarding speed camera fines" rather than reinvesting in road safety for Bedford
But Government says money pays for public services
The Government has come under fire for not reinvesting money made from speed camera fines back into road safety measures for Bedford.
Liberal Democrat environment committee spokesperson Cllr Tim Hill told the committee: “Average speed cameras are incredibly effective at bringing down speeds, as I know very well from my ward.
"Communities across Bedford borough have benefited from this council being the first in the country to bring them in.
“Instead of keeping the fines to boost its own coffers, the Government should return the cost of installation of each set of speed cameras to communities to reinvest in road safety.
"That would be fair, it would build more trust in the system and it would help councils like ours make our roads even safer.
"We know that the mayor and the council have lobbied for this, but the Government has flatly refused. If it had any sense of fairness and a real commitment to road safety, it would start listening to this authority and stop hoarding this cash in Whitehall.”
The cameras were introduced in 2012 and there has already been requests for nearly 80 new camera locations to be added to the 32 already in place.
A report to the committee confirmed that each set of cameras costs the council around £85,000 to install and £2,500 to maintain annually.
A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "Speeding fines are paid into the Consolidated Fund. This is used towards general Government expenditure, rather than ring-fenced for specific spending. Details on the Consolidated Fund are available here"The Government considers it be preferable that fines and penalty receipts such as speeding fines are paid into the Consolidated Fund rather than ring-fencing or hypothecating funds for specific spending.
"Calculating funding based on need rather than on fluctuating fine and penalty receipts provides more certainty.
"Money from the Consolidated Fund supports general expenditure on public services, and that would include services that motorists will benefit from, such as healthcare, policing, local government grants and transport."