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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Average speed cameras could be removed from Birmingham roads as council considers changes

Average speed cameras could be removed from some existing locations in Birmingham where thousands of drivers have been caught speeding over recent years. It is among options being explored as part of the future of average speed cameras in the city to ensure they remain affordable and cover roads which have most problems with reckless driving.

It comes after BirminghamLive revealed the roll-out of any new average speed cameras in the city was being shelved for now, until council bosses are satisfied over costs and how many cameras will have to be fitted. But they insist they remain committed to a region-wide plan to put more average speed cameras on busy roads.

It has been suggested some existing cameras may be removed to make way for new ones on roads which are higher priorities in terms of tackling speeding. Average speed cameras currently operating in the city which catch most drivers include those on the A38 Bristol Road and A456 Hagley Road.

The city council told the West Midlands Combined Authority recently: "Whilst the scale of camera-based speed enforcement could be greater than at present, it is clear that there will be a fixed maximum number of camera sites that can be operated at any one time.

The business case will need to define clear criteria to make the justification for, and support prioritisation of existing and future camera enforcement locations, linked to evidenced road safety benefits.

"This could mean that some of our existing sites are no longer appropriate for ASE (average speed enforcement), and so a review of existing sites will be a logical first step to ensure expenditure is directed to the locations of highest need." The council's position sparked accusations from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street it had "withdrawn support" for the region-wide average speed camera project. But bosses insisted this was not the case.

A spokesperson added: "As we made clear to the WMCA in February, far from 'withdrawing support' we have made provision for capital investment to expand the camera infrastructure over the coming years, however we are awaiting details of a viable business case and precise costs. We also stated that we are fully supportive of a West Midlands-wide arrangement in partnership with the police.

"The council will not be bringing forward any additional enforcement locations until business case development has revealed the likely criteria by which sites will be justified and prioritised, as well as accurately forecasting ongoing maintenance costs. Given the significant financial challenges the council currently faces and the difficult decisions being made about which services we can continue to deliver, the service delivery implications of this proposal need to be fully understood to clarify how and to what extent we can proceed.

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