The new average speed cameras on the A40, are raking in almost £100,000 per month from drivers on one of the capital’s busiest roads.
The “cheat-proof” traps have been placed at 32 sites on an11-mile stretch of the A40.
At present, they are catching almost 1,000 motorists a month. They've been deemed so successful, there are now plans to widen the scheme, despite angry claims that the cameras are simply “cash cow” for the Treasury. Road usering campaigners say the public were not adequately informed in advance.
The new system was activated at the end of October between the Polish War Memorial and the Westway flyover. The previously fixed speed cameras on seven sites, have now been removed.
By measuring average rates of travel, the new system prevents speeders evading detection by braking as they approach a camera.
'Cheat proof': The traps have been placed at 32 sites on an 11-mile stretch of the A40
A total of 958 offenders were caught in the first month after the devices went live.
Speeders are fined £100 and given at least three penalty points on their licence, depending on how fast they are clocked.
Transport for London said the cameras — which it is extending to the A2, A316 and A406 North Circular Road later this year — would cut deaths and serious injuries.
But it faced accusations of failing to give sufficient warning of the cameras’ presence amid suspicions they are a revenue-raiser for the Treasury, which receives proceeds from fines.
London Assembly member Murad Qureshi, who raised concerns with Mayor Boris Johnson when the cameras were first proposed, told the Standard: “It does appear to be a cash-cow for the authorities — and done without much public notification.
“It’s not obvious the change has been made at all. I’ve no problem about getting drivers to kill their speed but this has been done behind their backs without telling them what is happening.”
Barrie Segal, who runs the parking tickets website AppealNow.com, said: “I hate speeders and if this scheme reduces road deaths that is very welcome — but if it’s done cynically to raise funds I would be rather concerned.”
A Freedom of Information request by the Evening Standard to the Metropolitan Police revealed that 1,303 “notices of intended prosecution” were issued between October 26 and December 30, including the 958 in November.
Drivers were clocked at up to 90mph. The A40 has 40mph and 50mph speed limits. The elevated Westway section between North Wharf Road and Bramley Road attracted most fines — 305 over the first two months.
Average-speed cameras were introduced in London on the A13 in 2010 and halved road deaths or serious injuries in the subsequent 18 months.
Average-speed cameras will go live on the North Circular between Hanger Lane and Bounds Green Road and on the A316 between the M3 and Hogarth roundabout in “early summer”, then on the A2 from the Blackwall tunnel to the Black Prince interchange in “late September”.