Oxfordshire, one of the first counties in Britain to switch off its speed cameras, is to turn them back on again – after speeding offences soared.
The county deactivated its 72 fixed cameras and 89 mobile units on August 1.
It came after Oxfordshire County Council withdrew its funding to Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership, which co-ordinates speed enforcement.
Shortly afterwards the Partnership claimed the number of drivers speeding past the deactivated cameras had increased by up to 88 per cent.
The switch-off brought a storm of protest from road safety groups and residents who warned it would lead to an increase in accidents.
But today it was revealed that the police and council were nearing a deal to turn all the cameras back on.
A county council spokesman said: ”We’ve been in discussion with our partners at Thames Valley Police and we’re close to an agreement to have the cameras switched back on in the future.
”We look forward to being able to reveal the detail of that agreement in future weeks.”
The county had withdrawn £600,000 in funding to the Safer Roads Partnership – an organisation of the police and local roads authorities – because of Government cuts.
Oxfordshire switched off its cameras shortly after Swindon announced it was switching off its cameras from July 31.
However, initial statistics from the Swindon experiment showed a fall in accidents to 315 casualties over the first nine months, compared to 327 the year before.
But within days of the switch-off locals complained motorists were ignoring the redundant cameras and flouting the speed limits.
Oxford County Council refused to divulge why it was switching its cameras back on today.
Coincidentally, Swindon and Wiltshire Safety Camera Partnership yesterday announced it is to close completely – with the loss of 40 jobs.
It comes on the same day Small World News Service revealed details of a new camera being tested that can catch motorists committing FIVE different offences.