Not so safe

PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

SIR, — I see that Herts County Councillor Pile has responded to your lead story several weeks ago, confirming that the county are continuing to use speed cameras despite the recent fiasco and rising casualty rates nationally. I don t agree that nothing c

SIR, - I see that Herts County Councillor Pile has responded to your lead story several weeks ago, confirming that the county are continuing to use speed cameras despite the recent fiasco and rising casualty rates nationally. I don't agree that "nothing can be done about driver error or mechanical failures". The police and DVLA are cracking down on untaxed, uninsured and unroadworthy vehicles, including school buses and HGVs sometimes with no MOT, and this generates an average fine of £180 plus recovery costs and six penalty points - speeding is a £60 fine and three penalty points - and is an immediate safety risk. Car-share schemes would improve vehicle maintenance and safety, and driver courses are being run for the over 70s in Cornwall and Devon, and for high-risk young drivers in nearby Luton with a 100 per cent success rate so far.

I sent a copy of an article published in New Civil Engineer magazine recently to Herts Highways confirming that the UK has slipped from first to fifth place in the EU road-safety league due to declining road maintenance and poor road markings, which experts have confirmed reduce accidents. The county council should know all about poor road maintenance after a lady cyclist was injured recently by yet another pothole in Harpenden, as reported in the Herts Advertiser.

My wife tells me that imported ladies fashion items are now priced an average £85 higher than their Euro and Swiss Franc equivalents, entirely due to soaring UK transport costs and lack of delivery drivers. Camera Partnerships cost this county £2.5 million a year and produce nothing - I have yet to meet anyone "saved" by a camera. That £2.5 million would easily cover the cost of the Abbey Line passing loop, allowing a half-hourly service between Watford and St Albans, and together with the Croxley link project would reduce road traffic and accidents in the busiest part of the county by at least 20 per cent and make West Central Herts a much more civilised place. Restoration of the late-night evening train service would also reduce the drink and drug-driving risk, confirmed in a recent trial.

No doubt the camera lobby will continue to ignore public opinion, use out-of-date statistics and scaremongering to justify the UK camera industry. But the tide of public opinion has now turned with support dropping from 74 per cent to 30 per cent, and some more enlightened counties have started moving funding away from camera partnerships to fund real transport improvements which people can actually vote for and use.

I suggest that if like many people you don't like the way that the public are being ignored by this arrogant, taxing Government, then vote them all out and vote for someone with a can-do attitude, because the public won't tolerate this nonsense for much longer.

PAUL SPELZINI,

Abfly Rail User and Potters Bar and St Albans Transport User Groups.

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