Speed cameras set to return in digital pilot scheme

By on 02/12/2015 in Cllr Shah, News

New digital average speed cameras will be coming to Birmingham and Solihull in the new year. These cameras will replace nine obsolete ‘wet film’ safety camera sites.

Rather than replace the old ‘spot speed’ units with similar technology, Birmingham City Council (BCC) and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) will be taking advantage of cost-effective and efficient average speed enforcement cameras which represent the very latest hardware platform for road safety.

Additionally, the solution has functionality capable of offering numerous benefits both to Birmingham and Solihull councils and West Midlands Police (WMP), including the intelligent use of the data output from the cameras – for example, the Average Speed Enforcement (ASE) functionality can be switched to be used for journey time monitoring, provided the camera site is not required for speed reduction.

The cameras will be located across Birmingham and Solihull, operational for a term of five years. There will be an initial 21-month evaluation phase to assess the effectiveness of the cameras, equipment and the overall system.

Cllr Shafique Shah, Cabinet Member for Inclusion and Community Safety at Birmingham City Council, whose portfolio covers road safety, said: “Unfortunately, road traffic collisions continue to affect a large number of the West Midlands population, including not just those directly involved, but their friends and family too.

“Just in the years 2010 – 2014 alone, there were 2,078 people killed or seriously injured in Birmingham, an average of 416 per year.

“The initial pilot at these nine sites will do much to help inform our future wider efforts to make the region’s roads as safe as they can possibly be.”

Cllr Ted Richards, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “This new digital technology will play a very important role in keeping the region’s roads safe. Thousands of people use the roads through Birmingham and Solihull every day and any work that local authorities can do to keep them safe is certainly positive.”

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I am delighted that Birmingham and Solihull are leading the way in this important area of work.

“When I was elected last year I promised that I would improve road safety and do all I could to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our roads.

“Speed is one of the biggest cause of deaths on the road and one of the biggest issues that local people raise with me on a daily basis.

“Birmingham and Solihull are installing the cameras and the police are supporting them by processing and enforcing the fines.”


Notes to editors

The locations of the nine digital average speed cameras are as follows:

Birmingham locations
A38 Bristol Road approaching Speedwell Road – into city
A456 Hagley Road approaching Norfolk Road – out city
A456 Hagley Road approaching Rotton Park Road – into city
A4540 New John St West approaching Hospital St – towards A38
A4540 New John St West towards Hockley Circus – towards Hockley Circus
A34 Newtown Row near New John St West – out of city
A45 Coventry Road at exit from Swan Island underpass – into city

Solihull locations
B425 Lode Lane (between Henley Crescent and Moat Lane)
B4114 Bradford Road / Chester road (in the vicinity of the junction)

The proposed sites chosen have been based on the following criteria:

– This was a fixed safety camera site prior to April 2013.
– There is a history of collisions and casualties at the camera site zone.
– Speed surveys indicate that speeding vehicles is an issue.
– There is no realistic and appropriate engineering solution that can be installed at the location to reduce collisions and vehicles exceeding the speed limit.

Speed cameras in the West Midlands – recent history

In April 2013 West Midlands Police [WMP] informed the public that speed cameras across the metropolitan area would be switched off until such time as a suitable digital solution could be found. WMP remain committed to road safety and has been targeting dangerous and, speeding motorists through the use of state-of-the-art mobile cameras.

A task group comprising officers from BCC, SMBC, WMP and consultants have been scoping and developing the project phasing. The pilot is to consist of the installation, operation and maintenance of the digital safety cameras initially in Birmingham and Solihull.

Background reading

For an article on the success of average speed enforcement cameras elsewhere, please visit the following link: ASE CAMERAS IN SCOTLAND

David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, is available for interview on this subject, as are Cllrs Shah (Birmingham) and Richards (Solihull).

For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski at Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 3621

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