Councils 'hack road safety budgets'

Local councils in England hacked road safety budgets by an average of 15% during 2011, according to statistics released by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The road safety charity claimed the reductions compared with average cuts of just 6% for other council services over the same 12-month period.

Among the things to face the axe were rehabilitation courses for those who'd committed motoring offences, as well as reductions in programmes educating young drivers.

The IAM said Camden Council in London cut its road safety budget by more than 70% during the period.

When it came to maintaining roads there were also cuts, with up to 30 councils admitting to cutting spending on road maintenance by 10%.

To this end, potholes have become a real problem for motorists in England, making a goodcar insurance policy all the more valuable.

Overall, some 81 local authorities in England were consulted.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: "Councils can be more innovative and flexible in their approach by working with the voluntary and private sectors to provide the services they can no longer afford.

"Cutting road safety so hard makes no sense. 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."

Copyright Press Association 2012