back to article London tenders for speed cameras

Transport for London has published a tender for the provision of average speed cameras for a project it plans to trial. The cameras will be used to "enforce average speed limits in urban areas", according to the notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 10 August 2010. A spokesperson for the department …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Nice earner don't they mean ?

    Give us da money

    1. Anton Ivanov

      Actually average ones do reduce accidents

      A14 is a good example - it was the road to hell regardless of how many speedtraps they put on it. It now has average speed cameras in the most dangerous portion and the accident count has immediately gone down in that portion.

      Compared to the current cameras in London this will be a big improvement. Presently everyone drives at 70+ slamming the breaks every half a mile for the camera and accelerating back to 70 once past the markings on the road. That is less safe than no cameras at all.

      So if they will _really_ replace the old blinkers with avs I am all for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @Actually average ones do reduce accidents

        @Anton Ivanov "Presently everyone drives at 70+ slamming the breaks every half a mile for the camera and accelerating back to 70 once past the markings on the road. "

        That's why average speed cameras are better than the GATSO styles ones. It's because accidents go up around GATSO from the over reactions of drivers to them. Accidents don't go up around average speed cameras. But it does not mean that average speed cameras work at cutting down accidents in general.

    2. Britt Johnston

      A minimum speed fine..

      ...would be a better earner at rush hours.

      25 - 30 mph should catch almost every car.

  2. ShaggyDoggy

    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads"

    Presumably before spending our cash, they will provide solid scientifically accepted evidence of this.

    1. mmiied

      they do not need eviodance

      As they said it is they "bleave" this and you do nor need evidance for a belife

      1. DuncanL

        ..but a spell checker helps..

        <Bitter language pedant alert> Five misspellings in a one sentence response to a message that you could have just copied and pasted the difficult words from... Aaarrrrggghhhhh.

        Sorry - just had to get that off my chest...

        1. Gangsta


          I think some of the mispellings there are intentional.

          1. Gangsta


            Having looked at the persons Previous Posts, I agree with the pedant.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Transport for London behind the times?

    Say it isn't so!

    The "average speed limit" is a nice one here, but it's still false: What you need is that everybody has roughly the same speed, regardless of what that speed is, not that everyone drives with speed N on average. No, they're not the same. Recall that statistician who couldn't swim trying to cross a river? Oh, he said, it's only one metre deep on average. Yet he drowned.

    Replacing speed bumps is also interesting in the Chinese sense. It means more GATSOs in suburbs and boroughs, showing off how safe you are by leveraging another hidden road tax. And because of lower traffic there, lower yields, making the things less likely to yield enough to pay for themselves.

    We've just seen the GATSO deployment data doesn't quite back the conclusions of road safety, yet TfL apparently doesn't read critiques --or the reports themselves-- very well.

    Yes, very well thought out. Carry on TfL.

    1. paulc
      Black Helicopters

      replacing speedbumps YES!!!

      "Replacing speed bumps is also interesting in the Chinese sense. It means more GATSOs in suburbs and boroughs, showing off how safe you are by leveraging another hidden road tax. And because of lower traffic there, lower yields, making the things less likely to yield enough to pay for themselves."

      they've got some of these in notorious rat-run estates in Gloucester... they work and there is no need for speedbumps making life far easier on the suspension and no screeching tyres as people brake hard for the speedbump/Gatso...

      the estates with them are now nice and peaceful and no longer used as rat-runs

      of course, the other use of these average speed cameras is sources for ANPR hits... bit difficult to drive an untaxed car in and out of the estates as it pings on the Police system

      1. Danny 14

        not so great

        You *do* get uneven tyre wear going over the "blocks" rather than speed hump. And true humps are a nightmare on any bike thats sporty (riding position not the speed) And I wonder what will happen when you try and defend yourself over an automated ticket due to people cloning your plates. Its hard enough getting a congestion charge overturned (speaking from a person who has had this issue)

  4. Les Matthew


    Torture for Londoners.

  5. JP19

    Average Speed in london

    Ok, so they'll be setting all the camera's to start snapping at 11 mph?

    1. Marky W
      Thumb Up

      Spot on

      To paraphrase bubble-permed legend Kevin Keegan: I would love it, LOVE IT, if I could average the speed limit in London.

    2. brimful

      Drive at a higher average speed

      Just a thought, if we all drive at a higher average speed, then you'll have to be driving like a maniac to be snapped by these average speed cameras.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Stuff speed cameras....

    Can we have microphones around so they nick cars that have stupidly loud exhausts? if your corsa makes more than a whisper you are a tosser.

    Big brother - cos he is watching the wrong people.

    1. Stu_The_Jock


      or those who have a stereo that uses more energy than it takes to move the car

    2. Stu_The_Jock

      LOUD ?

      Or those who have a stereo using more energy than it takes to move the car down the road.

    3. brimful


      Amen to that. Have a beer.

    4. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up

      Another one...

      Detectors for more than 5 people under the age of 20 gathered in a car that is designed with only 4 seats AND where the collective IQ is less than the drivers shoe size!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is where speed cameras should be used. As we all know, speed humps cause excessive wear on cars, and it's in built up, urban areas where people should be taking care of their speed.

    I'm not normally a fan of speed cameras, pointlessly limiting speed to 40 on a arrow straight road in the middle of no-where (don't believe me? Visit sections of the A2 and A20 in Kent) but in towns and cities, where there are people about, kids crossing roads etc, then yes, I'm all for that.

    In fact, if they really want to save money, they can take all the ones off the motorways and A-roads and put them in towns.

    Anon. because this will probably be very unpopular.


    1. CD001


      funny how many upvotes you've got for saying this "this will probably be very unpopular" - mind I agree with you. If they're using average speed cams in urban areas instead of those bloody speed bumps then I'm all for it.

      If they WERE to reduce the amount on dual-carriageways and motorways as well that would be a definite plus in my book. So have another upvote on me ;)

  8. paulf

    Hmmm cameras in London?

    I bet that once one of these things flash a speeding motorist a hoard of coppers will descend on it for "breaking the law by taking photos in a public place". When the inanimate Gatso refuses to give up its camera, protesting it is perfectly entitled to take photos in a public place because there is no law against it; it will be wrestled to the ground for obstructing the Police, arrested on spurious, probably made up, grounds and taken to the cells for an indefinite period.

    Sorry I've not had my morning coffee yet </rant>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <title here>

      You forgot to add that it will also get a good kicking whilst being arrested.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sack this fool, dangerous!

    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads and save us money. For instance, cameras can be used as an alternative to road humps," the spokesperson added.

    In complete contradiction to the statements release earlier which proves that speed cameras don't make any difference and certainly don't make the roads safer.

    Why is our tax being wasted on her employment?

  10. Valerion


    So now I'll have to drive around whilst staring intently at my speedo rather than watching the traffic and pedestrians around me.

    People driving at 35mph in a 30mph whilst completely aware of what's going on are a lot safer than people doing 29mph but not looking at the road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but those driving at +35 in a 30 zone...

      ... clearly aren't aware of the speed limit :-)

      Otherwise I mark you 4/10 for rhetoric, 0/10 for clear thinking.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I see a speed camera, a quick peek at the speedo then click on the "auto-pilot" cruise control to make sure I don't have to worry about my speed.

      You should be looking at the speedo every so often it's a required part of driving a car. You're even allowed to look at the controls once in a while on a driving test, just don't keep doing it too much as you will look like a complete div.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        <title here>

        Cruise control? in London!?

      2. JP19

        it's a required part of driving a car

        With such witless drivers it is surprising there isn't more carnage on our roads. Are you seriously saying you could not drive safely without a speedometer?

        Looking at speedometers is for for protecting license and wallet, you look at the road to protect life and limb.

    3. Graham Marsden


      Oh dear, it's the tired old "I have to stare at my speedo" argument.

      FYI a speed limit is exactly that, a *LIMIT*, not a *TARGET*.

      By all means Make Progress on open roads, but if you're in a situation where you need to watch for "traffic and pedestrians around you" simply driving to the "limit" shows a lack of awareness (and ability) to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions.

      1. 42

        Oh dear

        Its the tired old idiocy of denying reality. Everyday on the roads I see many people who are obviously not paying sufficient attention to the road because they thin k if I do the speed limit I am safe anyway. As a VFR pilot, I was trained that it takes up to a couple of seconds to refocus to distance after looking at instruments.

        Its is stupid to suggest that people watching their speedo does not cause accidents.

        The original poster was absolutely correct.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If you can't drive at a fairly constant speed without constantly staring at your speedo, you are a danger to yourself and others and shouldn't be on the road, be you in a car, on a motorcycle or push bike.

      1. JP19

        fairly constant speed

        Control of speed is the most effective and easily used tool a driver has for controlling risk.

        The only time a driver should be trying to drive at a fairly constant speed is when road conditions present a fairly constant risk - which is almost never in urban locations.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Shouldn't be driving then...

      If you are unable to glance at your speedo to check speed whilst maintaining awareness around you then I suggest you shouldn't be driving...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    And so it begins....

    A speed camera on every street corner that uses ANPR.

    Soon to be upgraded to check for Vehicle tax, MOT and insurance.

    Which would soon be upgraded to a system that can identify general vehicle behavioural patterns and issue automated fines.

    Which would soon be upgraded to include people behavioural patterns, dropping litter, loitering, gathering in groups of 5 or more. All these are CRIMES!

    Then a quick upgrade to recognise your face against a database of everyone in the UK.

    Then the authorities will probably make it so you have to have a permit to walk down the street, no running though, that can be dangerous to both yourself and others.

    It's a lot easier to just sit in your home watching scary propaganda and goverment sanctioned, re-assurance giving "themed drama" on your screens.

    London's calling, and they are calling everyone's name...

    Yes....I am a nut job, that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    1. Danny 14


      but oddly enough I prefer cameras that track MOT, tax and insurance. The speed cameras are just a money grabber whereas the former help honest motorists (try getting hit by one of those sods and see how far MIB go to be unhelpful)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        As has been fairly well demonstrated in Oxford and Swindon, when government funding is removed, cameras have to be switched off because the local council can't afford to run them. I therefore suggest that speed cameras aren't intended for cashing in off the poor innocent motorists, rather they are for intended for enforcing the law or preventing accidents.

        1. Britt Johnston

          offer, slightly used

          Ther should be enough available second hand, good price, to be collected at Oxford and Swindon.

  12. Barry Tabrah

    Such anger

    I'd rather have speed cameras than speed bumps any day. And if you really want to stick it to the man then drive within the speed limit. That'll show 'em!

  13. Robert Forsyth

    In a free and democratic country

    I thought you were to use both CARROT and stick - and the carrot is not just taking the stick away.

    All these 'measures' de-skill driving, and drivers no longer use their common sense, they no longer adapt their speed (and driving: stopping distance) to the road conditions. Consequently, speed limits are reduced to cope with the uncommon worse case. If you treat people as stupid, they will become more stupid.

    Single speed cameras tell you there is a hazard (or accident black-spot), but do not tell you what that hazard might be.

    Average speed cameras just say the government is watching you, and encourage law breaking (can we do 90 mph then 5 mph between these two cameras, to stick it to the man).

    Perhaps there should be a two stage driving test with periodic top-up training/tests: pass the first test and you can only drive a limited number of vehicles and roads, pass the second and most vehicles and roads are available. The tax-disc form could have a driving story and multiple choice test to encourage better driving - giving a discount on your tax-disc by the number of correct answers (it doesn't really matter if people cheat so long as they read the driving story).

  14. Chevy

    London will be just like nottingham

    ...and driving around nottingham feels like driving around an open prison. :(

    1. Andy 97

      Damn straight!

      Nottingham is the ultimate police state.

      Even with all the SPECS cameras and CCTV they still can't control the crime.

      Some say that the city is run by a bunch of incompetent career bureaucrats who only managed to hold onto their strategy officer jobs because the political part of the council are too busy fire-fighting the budget holes; I however, couldn't possibly comment.

  15. Tigra 07


    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads and save us money. For instance, cameras can be used as an alternative to road humps"

    Or you can pay for more police?

  16. Fuzz

    alternative to speed bumps??

    I don't get it. Are they saying they're going to deploy average speed cameras in 20mph zones. Do they understand averages?

    20mph zones are generally roads with lots of parked cars, junctions, pedestrians etc. The very nature of these roads requires you to slow down at times. I doubt anyone averages 20mph on these roads even if they have no regard for their own safety or that of others and their property.

    Average speed cameras work really well on roads where it's possible to maintain that speed.

    1. MGJ


      Outside the primary school that my children attend, there is a 20mph zone, and either speed bumps on the tarmac or setts (cobbles to you southerners). The average speed measured during school hours is 30 mph

  17. Sam Liddicott

    spoofing sport

    They'll need to add good car recognition too, or the Lord Mayor is going tog et lots of tickets with photographic evidence of hoodies holding his number place by the camera.

    1. Tom 35

      We have already had that here.

      Take a photo of the targets plate and print off a copy. Find a friend with a similar car and tape the copy over the plate. Speed past a few 40k school zone speed cams at 80-90 at 2am. One teacher got hit 7 times in one night.

      1. MadonnaC

        40k speed cams?

        I want whatever you're driving!

  18. william henderson 1


    fancy that!

    people complaining about being caught breaking the law!

    there must be sooooo many important meetings to go to, out there.


  19. Red Dwarf
    Thumb Up

    Sounds like a good idea

    It is self evident that most speed limits are set to balance the requirements of speed and safety of road users and those who live near roads. Anyone who exceeds speed limits in urban areas doesn't deserve the privilege of being allowed to drive a motorised vehicle.

    One problem that is often overlooked is the deterrent effect that speeding vehicles have on others who would otherwise choose to walk or cycle.

  20. My Alter Ego

    Who are these muppets

    When forces across the country are cutting speed cameras, TfL are increasing their count? And how the hell are you supposed to speed in London in the first place?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And how the hell are you supposed to speed in London in the first place?

      Oh, apparently it's easy: just ask that fraction of parents dropping their kids off at the primary school near my house. Just after they park on the corner and/or on the footpath is probably a good time.

  21. Evoflash

    My exhaust

    is really loud and has a slimmed down cat. hahahaha. burbleburble pop.

    Average speed cameras work for me, so I support their introduction.


    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Well, that seems to make you both big AND clever.

      Treat yourself to a doughnut, doughnut.

      smf urd, O lmpe upi ertr yp;;omh

      1. Evoflash

        Kind, but

        Don't see the link to physical size, nor efficacy of neuron linkages....



  22. Michael Fremlins



  23. SimonK
    Thumb Up

    Excellent news

    I thoroughly approve if they get rid of speed bumps, which damage cars and make life thoroughly uncomfortable for cyclists, and replace them with average speed cameras.

    I genuinely don't understand the opposition to speed cameras. I'm a liberal - I hate the surveillance state, the use of CCTV everywhere, and so on. But speed cameras (IF they are just that, and not linked to the police number-plate tracking big brother databse) are something very different. The idea of a system which only records your details if you are breaking the law - which only captures the details of criminals - how can you argue with that?

    And don't give me that nonsense about "only 10% of accidents are caused by speed". It's not just what causes it - however your accident is caused, the consequences of it are going to be worse if you are speeding.

    And before you ask - yes, I do have a car.

    1. Wommit

      Re : Excellent news

      You may have a car but you obviously have no idea how these average speed cameras work.

      "The idea of a system which only records your details if you are breaking the law - which only captures the details of criminals - how can you argue with that"

      How _do_ you think that this system works out your _average_ speed. It records every vehicle, storing date place and time against that number plate. Further down the road is another camera. This second one also records every vehicle passing. Further camera's can also be used, and they don't have to be on the same road. All of these cameras are in know positions and the distance between each is also known.

      So now you have a set of records, each detailing where a specific vehicle was at a specific time and specific place. All without a judges oversight.

      Do you think that these records are deleted if you aren't averaging over the speed limit? Don't be stupid. All of these records will be kept for as long as possible, just in case.

      Just in case the plod, or Government can make use of them, just in case they think up another use for them. Just in case you get photo'd by a Forward Information Team as you stroll back to your car after work / shopping / legally protesting about losing your freedoms.

      These average speed cameras are far, far more intrusive than ordinary spead camera's, those which do only take a photo IF you are about the set limit. These cameras record every vehicle that passes and then keeps the records.

      1. SimonK

        Which is exactly why...

        I added the bit about not being linked to the ANPR system.

        So to clarify, yes I absolutely oppose them if records of people who are not speeding are retained.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I genuinely don't understand...

      ...the opposition to speed cameras."

      The reason is simple - they are used to generate revenue. Instead of slapping a £60 fine on someone breaking the speed limit, how about an alternative -

      - 60 hours community service;

      - 60 days in jail;

      - 6 points on their licence;

      - 6 week driving ban

      Take your pick.

      And automatically register the penalty on some database, accessible to motor insurers, that cross references the driver, the car, and the penalty, so that offender's insurance is automatically hiked at renewal.

      A £60 does not make the roads safer.

      1. Laurence Blunt

        No they are (mostly) NOTrevenue streams...

        ...that's why the current gov. don't like them as they cost money to run!

        There are some cameras that are placed to catch drivers out, and most of those are the ones just over the brow of hills and such.

        The vast majority are placed in places where speed has been an issue due to pedestrians or side turnings with poor visibility.

        Average speed systems are much better in that they stop the ass-holes who ignore the speed limits and just slam on the brakes at cameras. While not necessarily penalising the driver who 'just' breaks the limit due to a slight downward gradient in the road. Also road “black spots” are rarely just a spot, they are usually longer stretches of road (100yards or or more), such are around schools or the typical rat runs through housing estates.

        It would be nice if there was legislation that required all data from these systems to be automatically discarded/destroyed (say within 24 hours) unless an offence has been committed, and that would include MOT, TAX and Insurgence checks.

        I do agree with you in that a single fine is not that great as a deterrent, and I would effeminately agree with the logging of all offences on a register so that insurers could hike the rates, and would add points to the license. There are those who disagree, saying that driver must be identified, I would say that the owner should always be responsible for who they let drive their car, and that they should take the points or identify the driver in question.

        Personally I would love to have these in the village I live in, where there are a number of side turnings with limited visibility due to buildings, parked cards and one "protected" tree make puling out onto the main road hazardous. Where the drivers are within the speed limit of 30 there is no real problem, but the shits doing anywhere from 40 to 60 cause regular accidents.

        PS: Personally I think if someone manages to get caught by enough speed cameras to lose their license that probably means they are driving well beyond their ability, as they have proven they drive so fast that they are incapable of seeing the warning signs, the big yellow box on a pole and markings on the road.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    There are soooo many issues here...

    TfL, but better still, the residents of London should consider:

    1. Just what is the current *average* speed in London? Doesn't the fact that there is already Congestion Charging give a hint?

    2. Alternative to speed bumps - These are not an alternative, surely, for TfL - What do they think the service life of their buses will be if they went that route (no pun intended)?

    3. What's the business case predicated on? Camera revenue potential or cost of servicing accidents (not TfL's responsibility, I believe) or cost of (bus) network dissruption etc?

    If TfL need a 'case study', get them to look at Ashton-under-Lyne (near Manchester). There, an 'A Road' has been reduced to a 20 mph zone, with speed cameras, speed bumps, restricted carriage way widths, red tarmac/white line hashing (because we all know that's just the same as a real barrier) to restrict overtaking BUT no ban on the type of traffic (like buses, HGVs etc), no consideration that the road is a major access to a substantial part of the town's population, has an ambulance station and a fire station on it etc.

    Finally, None of the 'safety' messages associated with speed cameras and other-billed and oversold measures, that is the want of the nanny state these days, are credible to me. None of those "safety measures" stopped an incident whereby a baby in a trolley was killed by an HGV (the driver of which was *fully* observing the conditions of the road) because the mother thought that it was always safe to just walk-out onto the road...

    1. James R Grinter

      TfL red routes

      Well, TfL are responsible for 'red routes' in London - these are arterial routes that are (meant to be) free of parked vehicles, and some of which are treated as race tracks by some drivers.

      Certainly the ones near me could benefit from this - because standalone speed cameras are so easy to spot (signs before them, bright yellow high visibility boxes, markings on the road, same place year in year out) all the regular users know where they are and can slow up for them: and they do.

  25. AlistairJ

    Sod London

    I want one of these in my village. Speeding isn't necessarily dangerous but it can be highly anti-social.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "They reduce accidents and save money"

    ..and really annoy angry middle-aged males with very small willies. Sounds like an excellent way to annoy Clarkson Club to me, bring it on.

    1. Laurence Blunt

      I could not agree more.

      "..and really annoy angry middle-aged males with very small willies. Sounds like an excellent way to annoy Clarkson Club to me, bring it on."

      I often refer to drivers as suffering from DDS or "Clarkson's Disease":

      - DDS = Dinky Dick Syndrome (actual size is not relevant, it's the self image that counts)

      - Clarkson's Disease = DDS plus a form of Tourette syndrome, where they have to shout "POWER!" when ever an engine is revved.

      A number of years ago...

      I was walking through Finsbury Square when a certain German sports pulled away from the lights in front of me; the engine was revved high, the tyres squealed, and about 30yard on the brakes were applied hard to stop again at the road works which had been at red the whole time.

      The first thought that went through my head was: "My god, he must have an incredibly tiny penis". It wasn't until I heard two women standing behind me snigger, that realised I had also said it out loud.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @ Laurence

        I don't get it. My wang is huge and I like driving fast cars.

        I suspect you're just jelous of the person driving such a beast and for the lack of anything to poke fun at you like to make guesses at the size of the bloke's cock, which is very wierd behaviour indeed..........very wierd.

        Very, very wierd.

        In fact, thinking about you thinking about the size of other men's cocks is starting to creep me out, and I don't like that Laurence, I don't like that at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          re: "@ Laurence"

          An ageing boy racer and a homophobe? Even better!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Laurence Blunt
          Thumb Down

          I couldn't care less what you have...

          ...and I have nothing against driving fast cars at speed in the right places.

          But if you think spinning your tyes and active like an idiot in the busy streets of the city is normal, you probably have some other issues your compensating for.

          I think your rather wierd interpretation says more about you AC.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Laurence

            "I think your rather wierd interpretation says more about you AC."

            Yeah, well you'd be wrong. You see a bloke driving a car like a prick and you immedeatly start thinking about his genitals.

            Also, this Jeremy Clarkson thing.....well, lets not go there.

            Issues, my have em.

  27. Shane Orahilly

    I always wondered why...

    ...automotive companies don't fit a driver-adjustable (or maybe GPS-referencing) audible warning system for vehicle speed. Similar to a parking sensor, the closer you get to the set speed limit, the more frequently it beeps to alert you, with a constant whine (similar to having the missus in the passenger seat) at the speed limit, thus enabling you to keep your EYES ON THE ROAD.

    "Another 3 points and now a ban for driving without due care and attention? I was looking at my speedo to ensure I didn't get another 3 points and a ban for doing 34 in a built-up area!"

  28. Is it me?

    Hang on.

    If speed cameras are a revenue generation engine, why are councils cutting them because funding has been withdrawn. If they made that much money the Tresury wouldn't cut funding, and safety partnerships wouldn't ask for funding.

    Also, average speed cameras work over relatively long distances, their use in urban areas isn't really going to be that helpful in many places is it, as traffic is stop , start. You would need an awful lot of cameras to implement this. Most systems allow +10% or +5MPH before registering an offence, so provided that you average < 35MPH between cameras you are going to be ok, nothing to say you can't hit 60 inbetween the lights though.

    Much better just to plant empty camera boxes, add the sinage and tell no one. Oxfordshire were silly stating that they were turning the cameras off. Trouble is, that's all CapEx with no revenue to pay for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hang On.

      @Is it me? "Much better just to plant empty camera boxes, add the sinage and tell no one. Oxfordshire were silly stating that they were turning the cameras off. Trouble is, that's all CapEx with no revenue to pay for it."

      They'd be even stupider if they didn't tell anyone, and then some time later someone found out (probably by checking the accounts) that no money was coming in from the non-existant cameras. Then there would be a big media storm about councils not informing their constituents about the changes. Don't forget, councils are paid by the public. The councils are not in charge.

  29. Graham Bartlett

    Speed cameras

    In built-up areas, fair enough.

    Outside built-up areas, it's a pointless exercise. The A14 from Cambridge to Huntingdon has been blessed with average speed cameras. The only effect I've noticed is that all drivers are now nose-to-tail travelling at 75. It's mostly removed the problem of some tw@t doing a ton down a busy road, sure, but it's replaced it with the problem of the same tw@t sat a gnat's cock away from your back bumper. This hasn't made us any safer.

    And it hasn't done a damn thing about tailbacks. You can have a lot of cars on a road with no major problems, but tailbacks are caused almost exclusively by adding lorries on the same road. Either two lanes of cars are now having to filter into a single lane around a mobile bollard, or some Polish arse decides to overtake a Hungarian at 0.1mph and everyone has to wait while the two snails race. And the A14 is the only way from the Midlands to the east coast ports, so we have a *lot* of lorries down it.

    1. Mountford D


      And it has made little difference as the A14 on that stretch is one of the worst accident spots, mainly caused by lorries, either trying to throw themselves off the bridge at Huntingdon or hitting joining traffic from the numerous incoming short run-in slip roads.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Absolutely

        I think you'll find that, if anything, it's joining traffic hitting the lorries. Vehicles on slip roads have to adjust their speed to join the main carriageway safely.

        1. Wommit

          Re : Chris W

          Possibly you'll find a large part of the problem is the larger lorries forming 'trains' of up to ten vehicles, each driving less than a cars length from the lorry in front. They do this because it saves them fuel. The fact that it is very dangerous, and incredibly inconsiderate, doesn't worry the HGV drivers at all. After all why should it, there aren't any traffic police on the road to stop them doing this sort of thing. The plods have (nearly) all been replaced by speed cameras.

          So when you're trying to join the A14, on a short slip road, and you've already accelerated to 60 / 65, what are you going to do when there's no road to fit in between these lorries?

          The A14 is a major farce, I remember when it opened and the big-wig who cut the ribbon, glibly said that they'd done their sums and this road (A14) wouldn't have any problems with congestion for the foreseeable future. Well that future lasted about two weeks, until the HUGE number of lorries running from the east coast ports to the midlands, cut trenches into the too soft road surface.

    2. Laurence Blunt

      RE: Tailgaters

      Some years back someone created a particular type camera system to pick up on these idiots. The thing is there are no laws to enforce in most countries, so apart from embarrassing drivers there is little point install them.

      All I do is slow down until the idiot either backs off or passes.

      One (I think it was the M4?) they did something similar ans reduced the speed limit at peak times. Much to the annoyance of some TV/Radio twits. However the real effect as actually recorded in experiments was that the average speed increased and the number of road closers due to accident went down significantly.

      The reason being that it reduced the ripple effect; where one car breaks and that causes a reflex over reaction in the car behind and so on. This is something I have seen many times on the M25 with the outside lane running at about 75 nose-to-tail and then suddenly coming to a complete halt for no obvious reason.

      The main issue that irritates me on motorways are the centre lane hogging drones; who may pass that HGV that is a few hundred yards ahead in ten minutes or so, but will not pull in and let others pass. Forcing everyone to cram into the outside lane or break the law and overtake on the inside.

  30. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    Congestion charge anyone?

    Considering they already have a network of ANPR cameras - won't this simply be about some (sanctimonious bunch of c**ts) plugging into the back office?

    Well anyone could do that.

    Red Ken's legacy strikes back into the heart of the many.

    TFL - they are trying to keep you out of London at all costs.

  31. Livinglegend

    Just like Nottingham

    where they can drive a stolen car to an estate, stop at mate's house for a beer, roar around at high speed, then off the estate and home. Average speed on the cameras, 5mph.

    No police to worry about, the cameras will catch the real 'threats to society'. Doesn't work, does it.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yes please

    London is considerably larger than the area covered by the congestion zone and some of the roads would be suitable for average speed cameras.

    One example is the Aldersbrook Road, E12, which is the best part of a mile long and where a conventional speed camera did not prevent the deaths of two young men who were racing a Lexus in July 2009.

    An average speed camera might have prevented them from using this particular road as a race track.

    1. strangefish

      I doubt it

      young men racing in overpowered cars are unlikely to be concerned and if they are they will simply move somewhere else to engage in their stupidity.

  33. Lionel Baden
    Thumb Down


    I love speed bumps cause i drive a car that is immune to them. A 2CV in london boroughs can easily do 30 - 35 over the largest of speedbumps :)

    how long till these cameras are used to track how often you drive etc etc etc .....

  34. AJ01

    Crazy Council

    Yes Yes... We all have to spend money to save money.

    someone should tell the council that morrisons has a two for one on 6 packs of stella, hence a 50% saving. Lets get drinking and save ourselves some more money.

  35. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Slow traffic down NOW - hook the sensor to a red light

    It's not rocket science. Set sensors on traffic lights such as pedestrian crossings. If a car is detected speeding 200 metres down the road, go red, stay that way for 45 seconds.

    Rinse repeat. Far more effective at REALLY slowing traffic down (It was tested in Sweden)

    Of course, no more income, but didn't a certain minister just say he wants to stop the war on the motorist?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tested in Sweden

      This is quite common in Spain and has been for as long as I can remember.

    2. Evoflash
      Thumb Up


      I like this.

    3. Robert Forsyth

      Phased lights

      Along roads like Marylebone Road did, supposedly, have phased lights that should allow you catch each green light if you travel at the right speed. On my bicycle, I could keep up with enough greens, for my use of the road, but that is probably only 15 - 25 MPH.

  36. Mountford D

    Speed cameras do not work - think about it

    Don't believe me? Then watch the behaviour of motorists as they approach static cameras - apply brakes, trundle through the measurement markers at speed limit, resume exceeded speed (if possible).

    What about average speed cameras? Easy - when coming up to roadworks, ignore speed limit signs until spot camera (which could be a long way in), slow down and let it take your picture, set average speed display in car, spot last camera in section and floor it as soon as you go past, making sure your average speed display does not exceed stated limit. In the meantime, your speed within the measured section could be as erratic as hell, from 10mph to 100mph as long as the average is within the stated limit.

    Speed is only one factor in a load when it comes to safe driving, but it is a soft target when it comes to fines and money-making for the authorities.

    1. Arclight


      Your cunning plan, more cunning than a fox thats professor of cunning at Cunning University, falls apart on motorway roadworks that have mulitple average speed cameras.

      Despite the to be expected bleating about speeding fines on here, speed does have a massive impact on accidents (no pun intended). The higher the speed in any collision increases the risk of loss of life or injury. Add to that the number of

      The motorway speed limit is set at 70mph, but I have sense enough to drive slower than that in fog, or if the road is extremely busy, but on an empty road drive faster than 70. I adjust to suit the conditions.With the number Lewis Hamilton wannabe's who think they can actually handle driving fast, but have about as much road awareness as Mr Magoo. Speed in itself doesn't kill, but bad driving does, we unfortunately we can't take all the idiots out of the system, so we have to remove one of the other causes.

  37. Andrew the Invertebrate

    So anyone taking bets

    that members of ACPO are on the board of the company that wins the fair bidding process?

  38. g e


    Road humps aren't a revenue stream...

    1. L.B


      "Road humps aren't a revenue stream..."

      Unless you own shares in Kwit-Fit, Halfords or similar.

      The residential road I live on has two right across the road where a foot path crosses (to the local primary school). I don't object as it does slow down the idiots, but even taking them at 5-10 mph adds noticeable extra ware on the car, particularly the rubber bushes on suspension arms and on the top of shocks.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Criminal intent

    To calculate average speed you need 2 points of reference - the time I entered the zone and the time I left it. And you need to know the distance between those points.

    When I pass the first point I cannot possibly have committed a crime, because I've only just entered the zone. Even so, my details are recorded JUST IN CASE I've committed a crime by the time I've left it. This has to be wrong. Either that, or I ought to give a DNA sample on entry to the zone just in case I happen to burgle a house on my way through. This is clearly an infringement of my right to presumed innocence.

  40. mamsey

    For instance, cameras can be used as an alternative to road humps,

    Ever tried running over a speed camera, my mate did and trashed his car, mind you it made it easier for others to drive over it as it was then lying in the road!

    Don't think it was intentional...

  41. Alex King

    Here we go again

    The real problem is that, by putting cameras in some places and not others, there is an implied message that it's OK to speed in some places and not others.

    Technology exists to enable total national surveillance of vehicle speed and issue deterrent penalties to those who break the rules. One of the reasons why this hasn't happened is that there is a tacit admission that, for the most part, the person who is best qualified to make a decision about how fast it is safe to be going at any given time is the person at the wheel - and that they base that judgement on the prevailing environment and the abilities of their vehicle and themselves.

    Of course there are circumstances where judgement can be clouded, such as throgh drink, drugs or a desire to run away from the police, but I don't think speed cameras are these people's primary concerns. It seems that what we're seeking to achieve through the use of speed cameras is to eliminate human error from a system that involves humans. The real mistake is to assume that the people making the rules are less prone to errors than those out on the road.

    Society as a whole needs to accept danger and death as a fact of life. Sometimes humans make mistakes and people get hurt or die by accident - but it's not always the case in these situations that "something must be done".

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Gonna get ya!

    Oh you really don't get it, the closer ones among described the obvious novel uses Tax, Insurance , MOT checks but consider this:

    The Average speed doesn't have to be on a stretch of road from A <-> B

    If I come off a Motorway with an ANPR camera and drive like a bat out of hell on the back roads (no cameras) till I get to my estate another ANPR camera can then calculate the fastest legal time I could have gotten there and if I am faster then voila, le ticket.

  43. Dave 120


    And I hate the way they put tags on clothes in shops too. I mean, how dare they treat us like criminals like this.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Car Registered?

    So many cars in London are not registered to the driver and many dont even have insurance or tax. How about having some police to pull them over and remove their cars as cameras arent going to stop these idiots.

  45. Richard Porter

    "Average speed limits"

    There's no such thing as an average speed limit. Speed limits are absolute maxima (relative to the Earth's surface). With average speed detectors you can do 140mph and then stop for a picnic before reaching the second camera.

    However the method of enforcement shouldn't be the issue. The real problem is excessively restrictive limits for no obvious reason, which the majority of drivers don't recognise as being reasonable.

    1. L.B

      @"Average speed limits"

      But when just about every other road user IS doing something close to the average, that stops the nutters doing what you suggest.

      Then again, perhaps you are from "up north" where a "busy" road only has a car every minute or two, where as "down south" the quiet roads have cars every few seconds from 6:00 to 20:00 Mon-Fri.

      Also you may think that a speed limit is stupid and restrictive, but perhaps you have not seen what it is like trying to pull out from the side roads, or cross the road on foot, or any number of other hazards as you race past.

      I do believe speed limits of less than 30 are ridiculous on most roads/highways. There are also some roads that have limits of 40 or 50 that actually seem to be there only to lower the average speed, as if the 60 (that is reasonable) was the official limit you would get the idiots doing 70-80.

      A good example of the later is the A228 in Kent; where one section was up graded from a single carriage way to a dual carriage way and at the same time had the speed limit lowered from 60 to 50.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    show me the money

    If they were all that worried about real safety, they could put a copper there instead of having him sit behind a desk somewhere.

  47. Martin Usher

    Why not just put up a speed display?

    They're common where I live. Effective, too -- the thing lights up with your measured speed as you pass and will flash if you're going to fast. Time to slow down....

    Of course, they don't make anyone any money.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Traffic calming

    If you want to stop people speeding in urban areas the you have to get them moving in the first place.

    There is a town in Lancashire where there are traffic lights every 50 yards or so, liberally interspersed with gatso speed cameras. Half the time you travel within the speed limit down a main arterial route stopping at every light, it is no wonder that those in the know use every available rat run just to avoid the endless stop start and accidental speeding ticket.

    The traffic flow is a network problem, I should come up against a red light when I want to join or cross a main road, when I join the main road I should get caught at the first set of lights (which packetises a group of cars), after that, as long as I don't exceed the speed limit or drive too slowly then all the lights in front of me should change to green just before I arrive, if I drive too fast the light in front will still be red and I have to wait for the rest of my packet to catch up, if I go too slow then I will lose my packet, get stuck at the red and have to wait for the packet behind to catch me up.

    The frustration of the lights/cameras is such that as soon as anybody reaches a clear stretch of road (be it estate or main road) they gun the throttle to make up for wasted time.

    1. L.B

      @Traffic calming

      The problem is that in reality, most roads go in two different directions and it is impossible to do what you suggest.

      You cannot packet groups of cars, as you don't know how many will leave/join at each junction, or how quick ther move once the lights are green..

      PS: Has anyone else noticed the recent trend of morons trying to "guess" when the lights will turn green, where they keep jumping forward a foot or two on red lights.

      I was behind one of these creeps last week who moved so far forward on the red, that when the lights actuall did turn green he was so far forward he could no longer see them and I had to use the horn to make him move!

  49. Stephen 11

    Average speed in London

    Those cameras will be a waste of time/space, as it is nearly impossibly to drive fast enough to get an average speed that is actually over the limit in London. I'd love to be able to have an average speed somewhere near the limit in central London. Saying that, if they remove those silly traffic calmings, then by all means, knock yourselves out TFL.

  50. srd275

    Speed cameras are a SCAM!

    More of the failed policy.

    I love it whent the scamera side tries to say "it saves lives" . I find it most interesing that when people have compared before speed camera era to after the rate of deaths decline ALMOST WENT FLAT!

    Micro managing your speed limits is NOT A SOLUTION for long term safety. It is a political excuse.

    Further most speeding is the result of UNDERSET speed limits, not the masses going crazy.

    RIP OUT THE CAMERAS and replace them with patrols to go after those who are truly dangerous.

    Not use the scameras for nothing more than a scam!


    Brought to you by your friends in America:

  51. Dick Emery


    If they implement these and they do not make any money (Because MOST people who speed probably slow down for average speed cameras whereas normal GATSO cameras just catch chancers and the unaware. ASC's tend to force you to slow down because everyone in front has to too). Will they then become too costly to maintain and have to be switched off eventually?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind London

    Belgrave Middleway in Birmingham is crying out for a pair of average speed cams through the underpass. At 7.30 in the morning it's Wacky Races down there.

    Good idea, TfL.

  53. Another SteveO

    I've seen these in Gloucester....

    And the residents know that they are turning off before the next camera at the end of the street and so can (and do), drive quicker than those passing through.

    Yet the cameras are there to protect those residents.....

  54. stan bowles

    Association of Bad Drivers

    99.999% of cyclists support a London-wide 20mph limit, and for the obvious reasons, and given that the vast majority of people who DON'T cycle don't cycle because of their fear of being killed or seriously injured by fast-moving traffic, and given that tens of thousands - probably hundreds of thousands - more people would cycle if there WAS a 20mph wide limit, it beggars belief that Ross really is a cyclist.

    The Association Of Bad Drivers and anyone who is, in effect, opposed to reducing the number of people being killed and injured on London's roads by 50% or so obviously couldn't care less about the carnage or the devastation that it causes.

    The reality is that in such a scenario - if the 20mph limit were strictly enforced - the number of fatalities could and would be reduced by about 90%, and the more serious of the serious injury collisions in which people are permanently crippled and/or braindamaged or maimed reduced by 80-90%.

    And speed and speeding are by far the biggest factor in road deaths, and THAT is a fact, despite your attempts to distort reality. In Hull, where they have a widespread programme of road humps and 20mph limits, road deaths have been reduced by 90% in these areas.

  55. stan bowles

    20mph zones.

    Typically within Hull, 20 mph zones have achieved reductions[106] in injury accidents of:

    — Total accidents -56 per cent

    — Killed & seriously injured accidents -90 per cent

    — Accidents involving child casualties -64 per cent

    — All pedestrian accidents -54 per cent

    — Child pedestrian accidents -74 per cent.

    It is estimated that at the end of 1999, 390 injury accidents had been prevented within the 20 mph zones which had been previously installed. 122 of these would have involved injuries to children.

    The average speed camera system uses number-plate recognition technology, of the kind fitted to some police cars, to identify individual cars.

    As a vehicle drives along a section of road fitted with the average speed cameras, each camera takes a picture of the vehicle and also records the time at which the picture was taken. By matching up the pictures using the number-plate recognition technology, a computer can calculate the time it took a vehicle to travel the whole distance, enabling the average speed to be calculated. Motorists found to be breaking the speed limit will likely face the standard penalty of 3 points on their licence and a £60 fine.

    Speed and speeding are by far the biggest factor in road deaths Lee, and THAT is a fact, despite your attempts to distort reality. In Hull, where they have a widespread programme of road humps, speed cameras and 20mph limits, road deaths have been reduced by 90% in these areas.

    In August 2000, we asked 3,700 residents of existing 20 mph zones what they thought of the scheme.

    — Over 25 per cent of respondents said that they walked or cycled more since the scheme was introduced.

    — Nearly 80 per cent of respondents thought that the installation of the scheme was a good idea.

    — Over 70 per cent of respondents said that they would recommend traffic calming to someone in another area.

    — Over 50 per cent of respondents felt that the 20 mph zone had made the area a more pleasant place in which to live.

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