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Road safety 'hit by budget cuts'

Road safety 'hit by budget cuts' Image

Cuts in road safety budgets across councils in England "make no sense", according to the chief executive of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Simon Best declared that councils need to be "more innovative and flexible" in their approach after figures from the IAM revealed an average cut rate of 15% last year. He suggested that by teaming up with the voluntary and private sectors such services could be sustained.

The cuts compared with average reductions of 6% for other council services.

Statistics from 81 English councils show that safety cutbacks included reductions in rehabilitation courses for motoring offenders, training for young drivers, and schemes associated with schools like providing safe routes and crossing patrols.

Camden Council in London made cuts of more than 70% to its budget.

Mr Best said: "Austerity is forcing councils to make difficult choices, but the fact that these cuts only represent the first year of savings under the coalition's spending review is deeply worrying.

"The average wage of a lollipop lady is £3,000 a year while the cost of each road fatality is £1.6 million. So the returns on investment are huge."

The amount of money spent on road maintenance fared well in comparison, with an overall increase of 0.37%. However, a total of 30 councils had reduced this budget by more than 10%.

published: 02/05/2012 17:00:00

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