Drivers speeding on the M25 have not been issued with a single ticket from its overhead cameras over the past year because of technical and legal difficulties (Telegraph).
The problems have prevented the Highways Agency from switching on the network of 36 new digital cameras intended to enforce variable speed limits on the London orbital motorway.
PACTS, the AA and Labour’s road safety spokesperson have all expressed their surprise and dismay at the revelation.
The failure was discovered by the AOL website, which had hoped to identify the biggest money raiser on the 117-mile long road, only to find that the cameras had caught no speeders at all.
The first of the digital cameras were installed in 2009, but a Highways Agency spokesman admitted that it had still not received statutory authority to use them on the Surrey, Hertfordshire and Essex stretches.
On other parts of the M25, where authority has been given, the difficulties were described as purely “technical” relating to upgrading the older generation of “wet film” cameras to the new digital devices.
A spokesperson said the Highways Agency was working with police “as a matter of urgency” to address the situation, but was unable to say when they will be in use.
Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour’s road safety spokesman, said: “This revelation is unbelievable. The M25 is already used as a racetrack by a number of reckless drivers. If there is one place where we need working cameras it is on that stretch of motorway.”
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “You do see drivers slow down when they pass under the gantries. We know there were some concerns when the signs were changing whether the cameras were keeping up.”
Robert Gifford, executive director of PACTS, said: “This sounds like a perfect combination of cock-ups.”
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