back to article London tenders for speed cameras

Transport for London has published a tender for the provision of average speed cameras for a project it plans to trial. The cameras will be used to "enforce average speed limits in urban areas", according to the notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 10 August 2010. A spokesperson for the department …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Nice earner don't they mean ?

    Give us da money

    1. Anton Ivanov

      Actually average ones do reduce accidents

      A14 is a good example - it was the road to hell regardless of how many speedtraps they put on it. It now has average speed cameras in the most dangerous portion and the accident count has immediately gone down in that portion.

      Compared to the current cameras in London this will be a big improvement. Presently everyone drives at 70+ slamming the breaks every half a mile for the camera and accelerating back to 70 once past the markings on the road. That is less safe than no cameras at all.

      So if they will _really_ replace the old blinkers with avs I am all for it.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @Actually average ones do reduce accidents

        @Anton Ivanov "Presently everyone drives at 70+ slamming the breaks every half a mile for the camera and accelerating back to 70 once past the markings on the road. "

        That's why average speed cameras are better than the GATSO styles ones. It's because accidents go up around GATSO from the over reactions of drivers to them. Accidents don't go up around average speed cameras. But it does not mean that average speed cameras work at cutting down accidents in general.

    2. Britt Johnston

      A minimum speed fine..

      ...would be a better earner at rush hours.

      25 - 30 mph should catch almost every car.

  2. ShaggyDoggy

    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads"

    Presumably before spending our cash, they will provide solid scientifically accepted evidence of this.

    1. mmiied

      they do not need eviodance

      As they said it is they "bleave" this and you do nor need evidance for a belife

      1. DuncanL

        ..but a spell checker helps..

        <Bitter language pedant alert> Five misspellings in a one sentence response to a message that you could have just copied and pasted the difficult words from... Aaarrrrggghhhhh.

        Sorry - just had to get that off my chest...

        1. Gangsta


          I think some of the mispellings there are intentional.

          1. Gangsta


            Having looked at the persons Previous Posts, I agree with the pedant.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Transport for London behind the times?

    Say it isn't so!

    The "average speed limit" is a nice one here, but it's still false: What you need is that everybody has roughly the same speed, regardless of what that speed is, not that everyone drives with speed N on average. No, they're not the same. Recall that statistician who couldn't swim trying to cross a river? Oh, he said, it's only one metre deep on average. Yet he drowned.

    Replacing speed bumps is also interesting in the Chinese sense. It means more GATSOs in suburbs and boroughs, showing off how safe you are by leveraging another hidden road tax. And because of lower traffic there, lower yields, making the things less likely to yield enough to pay for themselves.

    We've just seen the GATSO deployment data doesn't quite back the conclusions of road safety, yet TfL apparently doesn't read critiques --or the reports themselves-- very well.

    Yes, very well thought out. Carry on TfL.

    1. paulc
      Black Helicopters

      replacing speedbumps YES!!!

      "Replacing speed bumps is also interesting in the Chinese sense. It means more GATSOs in suburbs and boroughs, showing off how safe you are by leveraging another hidden road tax. And because of lower traffic there, lower yields, making the things less likely to yield enough to pay for themselves."

      they've got some of these in notorious rat-run estates in Gloucester... they work and there is no need for speedbumps making life far easier on the suspension and no screeching tyres as people brake hard for the speedbump/Gatso...

      the estates with them are now nice and peaceful and no longer used as rat-runs

      of course, the other use of these average speed cameras is sources for ANPR hits... bit difficult to drive an untaxed car in and out of the estates as it pings on the Police system

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        not so great

        You *do* get uneven tyre wear going over the "blocks" rather than speed hump. And true humps are a nightmare on any bike thats sporty (riding position not the speed) And I wonder what will happen when you try and defend yourself over an automated ticket due to people cloning your plates. Its hard enough getting a congestion charge overturned (speaking from a person who has had this issue)

  4. Les Matthew


    Torture for Londoners.

  5. JP19

    Average Speed in london

    Ok, so they'll be setting all the camera's to start snapping at 11 mph?

    1. Marky W
      Thumb Up

      Spot on

      To paraphrase bubble-permed legend Kevin Keegan: I would love it, LOVE IT, if I could average the speed limit in London.

    2. brimful

      Drive at a higher average speed

      Just a thought, if we all drive at a higher average speed, then you'll have to be driving like a maniac to be snapped by these average speed cameras.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Stuff speed cameras....

    Can we have microphones around so they nick cars that have stupidly loud exhausts? if your corsa makes more than a whisper you are a tosser.

    Big brother - cos he is watching the wrong people.

    1. Stu_The_Jock


      or those who have a stereo that uses more energy than it takes to move the car

    2. Stu_The_Jock

      LOUD ?

      Or those who have a stereo using more energy than it takes to move the car down the road.

    3. brimful


      Amen to that. Have a beer.

    4. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up

      Another one...

      Detectors for more than 5 people under the age of 20 gathered in a car that is designed with only 4 seats AND where the collective IQ is less than the drivers shoe size!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is where speed cameras should be used. As we all know, speed humps cause excessive wear on cars, and it's in built up, urban areas where people should be taking care of their speed.

    I'm not normally a fan of speed cameras, pointlessly limiting speed to 40 on a arrow straight road in the middle of no-where (don't believe me? Visit sections of the A2 and A20 in Kent) but in towns and cities, where there are people about, kids crossing roads etc, then yes, I'm all for that.

    In fact, if they really want to save money, they can take all the ones off the motorways and A-roads and put them in towns.

    Anon. because this will probably be very unpopular.


  8. paulf Silver badge

    Hmmm cameras in London?

    I bet that once one of these things flash a speeding motorist a hoard of coppers will descend on it for "breaking the law by taking photos in a public place". When the inanimate Gatso refuses to give up its camera, protesting it is perfectly entitled to take photos in a public place because there is no law against it; it will be wrestled to the ground for obstructing the Police, arrested on spurious, probably made up, grounds and taken to the cells for an indefinite period.

    Sorry I've not had my morning coffee yet </rant>

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sack this fool, dangerous!

    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads and save us money. For instance, cameras can be used as an alternative to road humps," the spokesperson added.

    In complete contradiction to the statements release earlier which proves that speed cameras don't make any difference and certainly don't make the roads safer.

    Why is our tax being wasted on her employment?

  10. Valerion


    So now I'll have to drive around whilst staring intently at my speedo rather than watching the traffic and pedestrians around me.

    People driving at 35mph in a 30mph whilst completely aware of what's going on are a lot safer than people doing 29mph but not looking at the road.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    And so it begins....

    A speed camera on every street corner that uses ANPR.

    Soon to be upgraded to check for Vehicle tax, MOT and insurance.

    Which would soon be upgraded to a system that can identify general vehicle behavioural patterns and issue automated fines.

    Which would soon be upgraded to include people behavioural patterns, dropping litter, loitering, gathering in groups of 5 or more. All these are CRIMES!

    Then a quick upgrade to recognise your face against a database of everyone in the UK.

    Then the authorities will probably make it so you have to have a permit to walk down the street, no running though, that can be dangerous to both yourself and others.

    It's a lot easier to just sit in your home watching scary propaganda and goverment sanctioned, re-assurance giving "themed drama" on your screens.

    London's calling, and they are calling everyone's name...

    Yes....I am a nut job, that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge


      but oddly enough I prefer cameras that track MOT, tax and insurance. The speed cameras are just a money grabber whereas the former help honest motorists (try getting hit by one of those sods and see how far MIB go to be unhelpful)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        As has been fairly well demonstrated in Oxford and Swindon, when government funding is removed, cameras have to be switched off because the local council can't afford to run them. I therefore suggest that speed cameras aren't intended for cashing in off the poor innocent motorists, rather they are for intended for enforcing the law or preventing accidents.

        1. Britt Johnston

          offer, slightly used

          Ther should be enough available second hand, good price, to be collected at Oxford and Swindon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but those driving at +35 in a 30 zone...

      ... clearly aren't aware of the speed limit :-)

      Otherwise I mark you 4/10 for rhetoric, 0/10 for clear thinking.

    3. Anonymous Coward


      I see a speed camera, a quick peek at the speedo then click on the "auto-pilot" cruise control to make sure I don't have to worry about my speed.

      You should be looking at the speedo every so often it's a required part of driving a car. You're even allowed to look at the controls once in a while on a driving test, just don't keep doing it too much as you will look like a complete div.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        <title here>

        Cruise control? in London!?

      2. JP19

        it's a required part of driving a car

        With such witless drivers it is surprising there isn't more carnage on our roads. Are you seriously saying you could not drive safely without a speedometer?

        Looking at speedometers is for for protecting license and wallet, you look at the road to protect life and limb.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <title here>

      You forgot to add that it will also get a good kicking whilst being arrested.

    5. Graham Marsden


      Oh dear, it's the tired old "I have to stare at my speedo" argument.

      FYI a speed limit is exactly that, a *LIMIT*, not a *TARGET*.

      By all means Make Progress on open roads, but if you're in a situation where you need to watch for "traffic and pedestrians around you" simply driving to the "limit" shows a lack of awareness (and ability) to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions.

      1. 42

        Oh dear

        Its the tired old idiocy of denying reality. Everyday on the roads I see many people who are obviously not paying sufficient attention to the road because they thin k if I do the speed limit I am safe anyway. As a VFR pilot, I was trained that it takes up to a couple of seconds to refocus to distance after looking at instruments.

        Its is stupid to suggest that people watching their speedo does not cause accidents.

        The original poster was absolutely correct.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If you can't drive at a fairly constant speed without constantly staring at your speedo, you are a danger to yourself and others and shouldn't be on the road, be you in a car, on a motorcycle or push bike.

      1. JP19

        fairly constant speed

        Control of speed is the most effective and easily used tool a driver has for controlling risk.

        The only time a driver should be trying to drive at a fairly constant speed is when road conditions present a fairly constant risk - which is almost never in urban locations.

    7. CD001


      funny how many upvotes you've got for saying this "this will probably be very unpopular" - mind I agree with you. If they're using average speed cams in urban areas instead of those bloody speed bumps then I'm all for it.

      If they WERE to reduce the amount on dual-carriageways and motorways as well that would be a definite plus in my book. So have another upvote on me ;)

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Shouldn't be driving then...

      If you are unable to glance at your speedo to check speed whilst maintaining awareness around you then I suggest you shouldn't be driving...

  12. Barry Tabrah

    Such anger

    I'd rather have speed cameras than speed bumps any day. And if you really want to stick it to the man then drive within the speed limit. That'll show 'em!

  13. Robert Forsyth

    In a free and democratic country

    I thought you were to use both CARROT and stick - and the carrot is not just taking the stick away.

    All these 'measures' de-skill driving, and drivers no longer use their common sense, they no longer adapt their speed (and driving: stopping distance) to the road conditions. Consequently, speed limits are reduced to cope with the uncommon worse case. If you treat people as stupid, they will become more stupid.

    Single speed cameras tell you there is a hazard (or accident black-spot), but do not tell you what that hazard might be.

    Average speed cameras just say the government is watching you, and encourage law breaking (can we do 90 mph then 5 mph between these two cameras, to stick it to the man).

    Perhaps there should be a two stage driving test with periodic top-up training/tests: pass the first test and you can only drive a limited number of vehicles and roads, pass the second and most vehicles and roads are available. The tax-disc form could have a driving story and multiple choice test to encourage better driving - giving a discount on your tax-disc by the number of correct answers (it doesn't really matter if people cheat so long as they read the driving story).

  14. Chevy

    London will be just like nottingham

    ...and driving around nottingham feels like driving around an open prison. :(

  15. Tigra 07 Silver badge


    "We believe that speed cameras reduce the number of accidents on roads and save us money. For instance, cameras can be used as an alternative to road humps"

    Or you can pay for more police?

  16. Fuzz

    alternative to speed bumps??

    I don't get it. Are they saying they're going to deploy average speed cameras in 20mph zones. Do they understand averages?

    20mph zones are generally roads with lots of parked cars, junctions, pedestrians etc. The very nature of these roads requires you to slow down at times. I doubt anyone averages 20mph on these roads even if they have no regard for their own safety or that of others and their property.

    Average speed cameras work really well on roads where it's possible to maintain that speed.

  17. Sam Liddicott

    spoofing sport

    They'll need to add good car recognition too, or the Lord Mayor is going tog et lots of tickets with photographic evidence of hoodies holding his number place by the camera.

  18. william henderson 1


    fancy that!

    people complaining about being caught breaking the law!

    there must be sooooo many important meetings to go to, out there.


  19. Red Dwarf
    Thumb Up

    Sounds like a good idea

    It is self evident that most speed limits are set to balance the requirements of speed and safety of road users and those who live near roads. Anyone who exceeds speed limits in urban areas doesn't deserve the privilege of being allowed to drive a motorised vehicle.

    One problem that is often overlooked is the deterrent effect that speeding vehicles have on others who would otherwise choose to walk or cycle.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      We have already had that here.

      Take a photo of the targets plate and print off a copy. Find a friend with a similar car and tape the copy over the plate. Speed past a few 40k school zone speed cams at 80-90 at 2am. One teacher got hit 7 times in one night.

      1. MadonnaC

        40k speed cams?

        I want whatever you're driving!


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