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Councils find £666k for Birmingham-Solihull speed camera scheme

Councils find £666k for Birmingham-Solihull speed camera scheme

🕔13.Jun 2016

Speed cameras will soon be back in action on some of the busiest roads in Birmingham and Solihull after a three year break.

A partnership consisting of Birmingham city council, Solihull council, West Midlands Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner confirmed today that cameras will be operating on eight routes from July 18.

Speed cameras were switched off in 2013 after the wet film devices used then became obsolete and West Midlands Police and the councils were unable to meet the cost of switching to digital devices.

The cost of the new scheme is estimated at £660,000 for five years, with Birmingham city council paying £473,918 and Solihull council £185,758.

This time, the partnership will use average speed cameras, claiming that historically compliance with speed limits is far better than with mobile or fixed-point cameras.

The new cameras detect vehicles through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and calculate their average speed by measuring the time taken to travel between defined points of a known distance apart. A signing strategy is used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.

Sites for the cameras have been selected based on road traffic accidents and casualties:

Birmingham routes

A38 Bristol Road between Priory Road and Speedwell Road – 30mph

A456 Hagley Road between Portland Road and Lordswood Road – 30mph

A4540 New John Street between Lucas Circus and Hospital Street – 30mph

A34 Newtown Row Northbound between New John Street West and Newbury Road – 30mph

A45 Coventry Road between Berkley Road and Rowland Road/Steyning Road – 40mph

Solihull routes

B425 Lode Lane (between Henley Crescent and Moat Lane) – 30mph

B4114 Bradford Road / Chester road (in the vicinity of the junction) – 30mph

A3400 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath – 30mph

Superintendent Kerry Blakeman, from West Midlands Police, said:

Our intention is for people to adhere to the speed limit. Those who exceed the limit will have to attend a speed awareness course where they will be educated about the dangers of speeding or face either an appearance at court or a fine and points on their licence.

We hope that the presence of these highly visible cameras will ensure that road users comply with the set limits on roads in Birmingham and Solihull.

Latest figures show that between 2010 and 2014 2,356 people were killed or seriously injured in Birmingham and Solihull, an average of 471.2 per year.

Cllr Stewart Stacey, Birmingham cabinet member for transport and roads, suggested he didn’t want to see motorists fined and only a minority would be caught speeding:

I want a clear message to be heard by the region’s motorists – I’m not Bob Geldof, I don’t want you to ‘give us your money’, I just want you to comply with the speed limits that are there to improve safety for everyone who uses the roads of Birmingham and Solihull.

Most people will see no impact to their overall journey time as this is all about enforcing speed limits that already exist on the roads in question – all of which are routes with a significant record for accidents historically.

It will only be the minority who continually exceed the speed limit and endanger others who will be caught by our adoption of this new modern technology.

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

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:

I promised that I would improve road safety and do all I could to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our roads. That is why I am pleased that these safety cameras are being delivered.

Speed is one of the biggest causes 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.  This shows that we are on the side of the overwhelming majority of motorists who drive safely and sensibly.

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