Somerset council 'cannot afford' to take on speedcams

Image caption,
The council said the cameras were nearing the end of their operational life and needed upgrading

Fixed speed cameras in Somerset could be switched off by April 2011 after the county council said it could not afford to take over their running costs.

Avon and Somerset police are disbanding the Safecam partnership which currently has responsibility for the units.

The police asked the authority to take over the running and maintenance costs, which are about £60,000 a year.

But Councillor David Hall said not only were they expensive to run, they also needed an upgrade costing £405,000.

"We understand their position, but in the current challenging financial climate we are unable to take on the considerable costs of running the cameras ourselves, particularly as we believe that many of them are nearing the end of their operational life and would shortly be due for upgrading," he said.

Mobile cameras will still be operated across the county by the police.

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