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Bid to keep axe from falling on vital A12 patrol
4:00pm Tuesday 7th September 2010 in Night Service
THE chairman of Essex Police Authority has called for a unique patrol on one of the country’s worst roads to be saved.
Fears have been raised that the £1.25million A12 patrol could fall victim to Government cuts in October.
But Robert Chambers, chairman of the authority, said he would like to see Essex County Council continue to fund the scheme, which was set up a year ago with the police – its partner in the A12 alliance.
He said: “The A12 alliance, between the police and the county council, and the patrols have been very successful.
“The patrols were something the county council felt very strongly about and Essex Police were delighted it was prepared to fund it.
“The patrols are especially good when there are minor shunts, as the police are much quicker at getting there and keeping the traffic going “But we are in the midst of the Government’s spending review and the council has to look at expenditure.
“It will have to decide whether it will continue funding it or withdraw it.”
The A12 patrol, set up a year ago, was the first locally-funded patrol dedicated to reducing congestion on a major road.
It uses specially-trained police, capable of using stingers and carrying out high-speed pursuits, as well as simply keeping traffic flowing, and was set up on the recommendation of the council’s A12 inquiry.
The notoriously congested route was labelled one of the worst trunk roads in the country.
Essex county councillor for highways and transportation, Norman Hume, who is also chairman of the A12 alliance, said the council was looking at the impact of the patrols.