BUCKINGHAMSHIRE’S speed camera authority could close this year as a result of funding cuts, a council boss said today.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Councillor Valerie Letheren said the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership could close this year.

It came after told The Bucks Free Press yesterday that speed cameras could be axed if BCC withdraws £600,000.

Eight public bodies agreed three years ago to fund TVSRP to next March. But Oxfordshire County Council, the biggest, could agree to slash funding at a meeting on Tuesday.

Bucks could now withdraw too. The partnership today warned that road deaths will not continue to fall if it suffers major funding cuts.

Cllr Letheren said Government had cut cash for council road safety activities by 27 per cent in its emergency budget.

This meant all bodies had to look at reducing funding, she said. The authority has previously said other measures such as road markings should be looked into (see link, bottom of story).

She told BCC’s cabinet this morning: “As a result of the funding cuts, Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership are investigating whether to wind up the partnership now.

“That is dependent upon the amount of funding this year, to be agreed by each local authority partner.”

Cllr Letheren, cabinet member for transportation, said: “If no funding is forthcoming in the next financial year then the partnership will cease operations in 2010 if not sooner if Oxfordshire are pulling out.”

The said the council are looking at the ‘implication of suspending or reducing speed enforcement in Buckinghamshire’.

She said the police had to enforce speeds by law. Police enforce speeds along with the use of fixed and mobile cameras by TVSRP.

Partnership spokesman Dan Campsall said: "Since the cuts in funding were announced by Central Government on 10th June, the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership has been working very closely with all nine local authorities, the Police and other partners to manage an in year reduction of around 30 per cent.

"Whilst this involves some difficult decisions the partners have agreed an outline plan for the remainder of the year that will see partnership enforcement continue.

"Along with the rest of the public sector the outlook for next year will be determined by the comprehensive spending review, and until the new funding settlement for local authorities is clear there is no need to take a longer term decision on the future of the partnership.

"In the last ten years we have seen a 53% reduction in road deaths, and 3,653 less people were injured on our roads in 2009 than in 2000; the year the partnership started.

"What is clear is that you cannot continue to reduce death and injury on the roads at this rate without any resources to do so.”