TfL extends average speed camera pilot

12.00 | 22 June 2016 | | 4 comments

Transport for London (TfL) has extended a pilot of average speed cameras to three more major roads across the city in a bid to improve safety and driver behaviour.

Two of the new locations came into operation last week (17 June) on roads with 40mph and 50mph limits, with a third set to become operational in September on another 50mph limit road.

Average speed cameras are already in use on motorways across the UK. Research for the RAC Foundation, published last month, revealed more than 250 miles of roads in Great Britain are now monitored by average speed cameras.

TfL says its pilot will measure their effectiveness in reducing speed related road casualties across a wider area – not just at spot locations where drivers can slow down and speed up again once they have passed the camera.

The cameras use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to record a vehicle’s speed at distances along a stretch of road, and then calculate the average speed between two points.

TfL is using roadside message signs to alert drivers to the new system and has worked closely with the relevant borough councils – including Brent, Ealing, Barnet, Richmond, Hounslow, Bexley and Greenwich – to install the new camera systems.


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    We need to be clear what the goal is – it should be to reduce road casualties. Average speed cameras certainly seem to keep most drivers to the speed limit, on motorway roadworks at least. But what we need to see are scientifically sound analyses that show that mass conformance with arbitrary speed limits actually reduces casualties.

    Charles, England
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    The most accurate evidence to date suggests that TfL’s spot-speed cameras do not save lives or prevent serious injuries (see:

    It is quite possible that TfL’s average-speed cameras will address the problems of the spot-speed cameras that they replace, but it is also possible that they will make them worse. The problem is: “How will we know?”

    The answer is simple: Just run the new average-speed cameras within RCT scientific trials. Such trials produce the most accurate evidence it is possible to obtain and the trials can also be cheaper to run than is often spent trying to produce estimates. I would advise that we should not support or oppose speed cameras until we have the evidence upon which a valid judgement can be based. We need, therefore, to start taking an evidence-led approach.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    Depends what you mean by effective. The purpose is conspicuity not fines. Changing behaviour (and hopefully drivers attitude) without penalties. Whether these reduce accidents is another matter entirely….

    Pat, Wales
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    They would be more effective if their presence was not advertised i.e covert cameras.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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