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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 10:11 
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Its official..... :o

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UK: Cash-strapped air ambulance seeks surplus funds from speed camera revenue

A crisis-hit charity air ambulance says cash from speed cameras should be used to help fund its operations. Two helicopters in Northumberland and Cumbria were grounded in February, after the Great North Air Ambulance Service revealed falling donations. The organisation blamed high-profile flood and Asian tsunami appeals.


But now the charity says a share of cash from highly-profitable speed cameras in the region, could help its long-term survival. The charity's chief executive Grahame Pickering, said he needed £300,000 a month to keep all three aircraft flying. He said he was against charging for rescues and urged the government to allow regional police forces to divert a proportion of cash raised from speed cameras to keep the life-saving service airborne. Mr Pickering said: "People hate speed cameras and hate being fined but they are here to stay. But it would be good PR for the police and people would find it infinitely more acceptable if part of the speeding fines was going to the organisation that saves people who are the victims of speeding. But we are told the money is ring fenced and has to be spent on road safety initiatives. Speed cameras alone in the UK could pay for air ambulance services, full stop."


The charity's Pride of Cumbria aircraft began flying just eight months ago. The Northumberland \ircraft was the organisation's first and began operations in 1994. Both are suffering a shortfall of about £20,000 a month, according to the charity. A third helicopter operated by the charity from Durham and Tees Valley Airport near Darlington, is covering the entire region.


Steve Callaghan, manager of the Cumbria Safety Camera Partnership, said: "The Treasury manage any surplus revenue generated from speed cameras, but in principle I would support cash being used to support the air ambulance. "This is all about casualty reduction and it seems reasonable to me that money from cameras be used. We have a lot of rural areas here, as does Durham and Northumberland and it is important that we get casualties to hospital as quickly as possible and we can't often do that by road."



A spokeswoman for the Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership added: "In principle it would be a good idea to use the surplus revenue in this way." The Home Office said it could not comment on the issue until after the general election.


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 17:40 
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:lol:
I think it's over in the other Safespeed forums!!
I put the Rumanian "fined for being Ugly" story here, then wondered whether it would get more exposure, and posted it there - now you've done it the other way around!!

It requires a big change in the rules, but hopefully Steve will be pushing for it to be made from his side! :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 18:48 
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Ernest Marsh wrote:
:lol:
I think it's over in the other Safespeed forums!!


Damn its hard keeping up sometimes.... :lol:

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