A500 average speed cameras go live

Following installation and a successful period of testing and monitoring, new average speed cameras on the A500 will go live this week.

The cameras will be enforced by Staffordshire Police along the five-mile stretch between Hanchurch and Wolstanton.

The scheme, funded by Highways England, is expected to significantly improve road safety on the busy commuter route, where figures show there has been one fatal road traffic collision (RTC), six serious injury RTCs and 52 slight-injury RTCs since January 2017.

Highways England, in conjunction with Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP), which includes Staffordshire Police and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, have adopted a system using average speed cameras because compliance with speed limits over longer distances can be far better than with mobile or fixed-point cameras.

The new digital 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. There is clear signage in place to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone and the bright yellow cameras and poles are easily identifiable.

Research shows that these cameras should also help to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and journey time, as the cameras positively influence driver behaviour resulting in a safer environment for all road users.

Chief Inspector Mat Derrick, who heads the force’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Average speed check cameras likes these have an important role to play in encouraging people to drive at appropriate speeds on our roads.

“Speed limits are enforced to protect you and other road users, and they should be respected and not used as targets. There are always other factors to consider including other road users, levels of traffic and weather conditions. The faster you are travelling, the less time you have to react to the unexpected and stop safely.

“We are committed to working with partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads of Staffordshire and disrupting criminal use of the road network.”

Highways England Project Manager Richard Gulliver said: “Speed cameras play a valuable role in enhancing safety, smoothing traffic flow and reducing congestion for drivers.

“At Highways England, safety is always our number one concern and statistics have shown a history of collisions and injuries around the entry and slip roads of the A500.

“Introducing these speed cameras will encourage drivers to stick to the speed limits and bring a greater consistency of vehicle speeds. This is expected to reduce the number of collisions by 37 per cent.

“We are sure this safety improvement will be welcomed by the many motorists who use this busy stretch of road every day.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, Daniel Jellyman, said: “This is a busy stretch of the A500, served by a number of arterial routes to and from the city. The measures put in place by Highways England and Staffordshire Police will help to improve driver safety. The safety of all road users in the city is our priority.”

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