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'Cuts will lead to more accidents'
9:43am Saturday 5th May 2012 in News
MOTORING g roups have warned that road safety cuts will lead to more serious accidents.
Spending on road safety in Brighton and Hove has been cut by the city council from £2,931,000 in 2010/11 to £2,114,000 in 2011/12 – a drop of 28%.
Chris Belton, the chairman of the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Brighton and Sussex group, said he was worried the cuts would result in more deaths on our roads.
He said: “I think it will have an impact on accidents.
Whether it will be next year or beyond is to be seen.
“But it will happen quite quickly once it kicks in.”
Mr Belton said road safety was a soft target for cuts.
He added: “The cuts are disproportionate compared to other things.
“It is an easy area to cut as it is not as emotive as something such as education.
“But it has just as big an impact on society.
“The average wage of a lollipop lady is £3,000 a year while the cost of each road fatality is £1.6 million.
“One death in a family has an incredible knock-on effect to friends, colleagues etc.”
Steve Percy, of the People’s Parking Protest, said: “I am concerned about how the council is spending its money.
“Is it being spent on reducing accidents or on somebody trying to work out what is going on?
“No amount is too much for road safety and anything the council can do to reduce accidents I am all for.”
A council spokeswoman blamed the Government for the cuts but said Sussex Safer Roads Partnership – which is funded by the city council along with East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council – was continuing to work to improve road safety.
She said: “These cuts have been necessary to enable local authorities to meet stringent spending levels imposed by the Government, enabling them to continue to serve their residents to the very best of their abilities.
“We are all working to ensure that our projects are cost-effective, directly targeted to the most vulnerable groups and fully accountable, allowing us to operate within the financial constraints.”