Average speed cameras to be installed in Lancashire

12.00 | 10 January 2017 | | 10 comments

The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership* (LRSP) has revealed plans to install average speed camera systems on some of the county’s most dangerous roads in an attempt to cut the number of casualties.

Announced yesterday (9 Jan), the eight routes selected have seen a total of 406 casualties over the last six years, with 13 people killed. 62 people have suffered ‘life changing’ injuries.

Work has already began to install the cameras, which will become live at staggered intervals between now and the end of 2017.

LRSP and Lancashire Constabulary opted for average speed cameras on the basis that the system has enhanced safety and achieved motorist compliance on a variety of road types in other parts of the UK.

LRSP points to research by the RAC Foundation which shows that fatal and serious collisions decrease by around a third after average speed cameras are introduced.

As part of the LRSP average speed project, research will be conducted to review speed data, traffic flow and casualty information on all of the routes.

The partnership says the introduction of the system is intended to positively influence driver behaviour and ensure motorists comply with the set limits on roads, resulting in a safer environment for all road users.

Assistant chief constable Tim Jacques, chair of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, said: “We don’t want to catch you speeding. Our primary aim is for all drivers to adhere to the safe speed limits on our roads, and these particular roads are proven to be amongst some of our most dangerous.

“It is well researched and documented that speeding can kill, but we know that a combination of education, engineering and enforcement can change behaviours and save lives. This is particularly important where there are recurring problems.  

“The Partnership vision, ‘Towards Zero’, is that we work towards preventing all collisions that result in death or serious injury. Using clearly signed average speed cameras will play a vital role as part of this vision.”

*The Lancashire Road Safety Partnership includes representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Highways England and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Related stories

Average speed cameras cut KSI collisions by a third: RAC Foundation
04 October 2016

Average speed cameras covering hundreds of miles of British roads
31 May 2016




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    Statistics show that speed in excess of the speed limit is not the greatest of causes of collisions on our motorways today. Although it is generally accepted and blamed that the vehicles involved were travelling too fast for conditions which in many cases would be less than the speed limit enforceable by cameras.

    What the problem is, particularly on motorways and as seen in multiple pile ups plus any still pictures one has of traffic travelling on a motorway, is not particularly speed but a lack of comprehension on the part of many motorists as to the dangers of a lack of space in the following on positions.

    Simply put, if vehicles are travelling at 70 mph and give only 50/60 ft of space to the vehicle in front then a catastrophe is bound to occur at some time. If however, that vehicle was 330 ft behind at 70 mph then they have time to see the danger and take steps to avoid it and no catastrophe occurs. We all need to give more space and suffer less collisions as a result.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    I think the greater benefit of the enforcement of speed limits – as well as other traffic offences – extend beyond the road where the offence was detected. For instance, it would be naive to think that the arrest of a drunk-driver on the local High Street could only have an impact on the immediate safety of anyone on that particular road at that particular time, but anywhere that the driver may have subsequently driven, had he/she not been detained. It’s the same for the persistent speeder – they don’t choose just the one road to ignore the law and wreak their havoc. If they’re caught and prosecuted they should (ideally) reflect and mend their ways for their’s and all other road users’ benefit, or if not, eventually get taken off (all) roads – not just the ones with the cameras on them, where stats may be analysed. Either way, it’s the same good result, but not possible to measure via stats.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    At last an English body who has the gumption to look at evidence and take the right course of action despite the inevitable backlash. I’m confident that other authorities will follow suit on their worst performing routes.

    Pete, Merseyside
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    As someone who isn’t necessarily a fan of speed enforcement, I agree with the principle that average speed cameras do reduce accidents.

    But in my eyes they succeed in doing so by instilling a sort of fear into the mind of the average motorist, a fear of getting arbitrarily caught by a vulture without wings if you’re not paying attention to the speedometer. And additionally, I’ve seen standards of drivers drop within average speed zones, not because they’re focusing on the speedo but because say, they’ve got the cruise control to 57mph indicated (in a 60mph limit) or something, and it almost looks like they’re zoning out.

    Still, it’s preferable in my eyes to someone sitting in a van, taking pot shots at you with nm-sized waves of light.

    David Weston, Corby
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I’m sorry, Nick, I haven’t explained clearly enough. The collision reductions in the RACF were not caused by the cameras, they are reductions that occurred due to other reasons, plus or minus an as yet undetermined effect of the cameras.

    I suspect that’s right Duncan. I’m starting to suspect that it’s the very clarity that scientific trials would bring that makes the authorities so desperate to make sure they are never run. If that’s true, though, it suggests that they believe that speed cameras do not improve safety and don’t want the public to find out.

    What do I wish for this new year? A new honesty in road safety, and an evidence-led approach using RCT scientific trials. Happy new year everyone!

    Dave Finney, Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    David: In his book Black Box Thinking the author Matthew Syed goes to great lengths to explain why many experts are so averse to running randomized control trials.

    He writes “They (RCT’s) turn shades of grey into something closer to black and white. By isolating the relationship between an intervention and an outcome without it being obscured by by other influences, they clarify the feedback. Without such a test you could draw the wrong conclusions, not just once but potentially indefinitely.”

    Unless they are supported by the evidence from RCTs the claims by the RAC Foundation and others are just that claims, and should not be treated as substantiated facts.

    Duncan MacKillop. No Surprise – No Accident
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)


    You say: “I can find no evidence that average speed cameras have “enhanced safety”.”

    But if you follow the link provided in the story you will see:

    “Produced for the RAC Foundation by Road Safety Analysis (RSA), the study found that, having allowed for natural variation and overall trends, the number of fatal and serious collisions decreases by 36% after average speed cameras are introduced. In addition, the number of collisions resulting in injuries of all severities is cut by 16%.”

    Surely reducing collisions and casualties by these sorts of numbers is enhancing safety?

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)


    The presence of cameras enhance the rule of law in places where they exist and where they don’t exist. Your comments appear to consistently undermine the rule of law.

    The constant flaw in your call for “RCT Scientific Trials” is that they simply cannot be done unless you find pairs of routes which have exactly the same characteristics of road use, etc and you isolate the drivers so that drivers on route A have not been influenced by driving on route B.

    Whilst you can do these with patients, drugs and placebos doing so on a mixed set of roads, multiple communities and engagement/education is simply not possible.

    There is no conspiracy other than that of those who seem to want to create conditions whereby drivers can break the law and get away with it.

    Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us, Cheshire
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    It’s an offence anyway Dave, so as with any traffic laws, I don’t think the authorities need to defend or justify taking action. When we pass our driving tests and gain a driving license, we are signing-up to the rules. No scientific tests necessary.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    I can find no evidence that average speed cameras have “enhanced safety”. Eg, The RACF report could not find any RCT scientific trials, did not demonstrate that they had fully excluded site-selection effects (RTM) and did not even attempt to remove the effects of other interventions at the sites.

    It would be so easy to run RCT scientific trials because Lancashire are planning 8 routes. Just divide the 8 into 4 pairs and randomly select 1 of each pair to have the cameras (the other 4 are the controls). Simple, easy, accurate and cheaper than paying experts to try to estimate what effect the cameras might have had.

    Can someone explain the authorities absolute refusal to be honest with the British public by running RCT scientific trials in an evidence-led approach? After all, if the cameras really do enhance safety, the trials would prove this beyond reasonable doubt and we could roll them out across the country with confidence. Let’s start using an evidence-led approach.

    Dave Finney, Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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