Transport for London is preparing for a major expansion of speed and red light camera coverage on the capital’s roads, including the possible installation of average speed cameras on four busy radial roads.
London currently has about 900 digital and wet film cameras (speed and red light) but the vast majority – 711 – are wet film, which TfL says will be obsolete by 2015.
It is planning a “three-pronged” investment programme:
a two-year replacement of wet film cameras with digital
the installation of additional cameras on the Transport for London road network (TLRN)
the installation of additional cameras on borough roads
Explaining the investment, Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: “TfL analysis of casualties over a three-year period before and after the installation of speed cameras shows that KSIs fell by an average of more than 50% at the locations where safety cameras were introduced.” These are raw data that do not take into account the influence of factors such as regression to the mean or trend.
Discussing the plans for the existing 711 wet film cameras, Daniels said officials had looked at the effectiveness of each camera using “similar KSI criteria” to those recommended by the DfT’s original 2002 guidelines on camera installation. For speed cameras, these stated that there had to have been four or more KSIs in a three-year period, of which two were the result of speeding.
“The analysis undertaken showed that 629 camera locations had demonstrated a reduction in KSI collisions… It is proposed that at all these sites the existing wet film cameras should be replaced with digital cameras,” he said. The remaining 82 wet film cameras had been installed where there was no record of KSIs before installation. These will not be replaced.
The new digital red light cameras will also be capable of enforcing speed limits during the green phase of traffic lights.
Daniels said average speed cameras were warranted on four roads on which 35 wet film speed cameras currently operate. These are the A40 in west London; the A2 through south-east London; the north-west section of the A406 north circular road; and the A316 that connects the M3 into Hammersmith through south-west London.
He said experience showed that average speed cameras delivered greater safety benefits than fixed spot cameras. TfL installed average speed cameras on the A13 in East London in 2010, replacing wet film cameras. Daniels said an 18-month before and after study found that total KSIs reduced by ten, or 58%, from 17 to seven.
A TfL spokesman this week emphasised that no final decision had been made to definitely install average speed cameras.
Daniels also outlined the plans for the other two parts of TfL’s safety camera programme.
He said there were 73 roads on the TLRN where casualty history would warrant the installation of cameras. “The casualty reduction performance of existing safety cameras suggests that installing cameras at these new locations could potentially prevent 72 KSIs from occurring each year.” Meanwhile, red light cameras were justified at 48 TLRN junctions.
On borough roads, Daniels said analysis suggested that 88 roads and 82 junctions would warrant cameras and that these could prevent 98 KSIs a year.
TfL is to issue guidance to boroughs on applying for camera funding in the Local Implementation Plan spending guidance to be published in May.
Three ten-year contracts will be awarded for the installation and maintenance of the cameras, with the possibility of extending the contracts to 20 years. The contracts will cover: spot speed; red light; and average speed cameras.