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Highways Agency plans new speed cameras

Plus over £100m to go on traffic database

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England's road agency will spend around £58m over four years on digital cameras, primarily to monitor variable speed limits.

The cameras ordered may also be used to measure average speeds, as well as monitor hard shoulder running, closed lanes and temporary speed enforcement.

Equipment will have to undergo "extensive prototyping and proving," according to a tender notice published on 18 September 2009 in the Official Journal of the European Union. This will include Home Office Type Approval, the process by which cameras are certified for measuring speeds for use in issuing penalties.

Suppliers to the framework agreement are likely to spend two years on the design and approval of equipment, then four years on supplying, installing, commissioning and further developing. This will be followed by a decade of operational support and maintenance.

The Highways Agency is planning to increase its use of active traffic management, already in place on London's M25 motorway as well as motorways to the east and north of Birmingham, where speed limits and use of hard shoulders are heavily managed and monitored to minimise congestion.

Such management, which the government sees as a way of allowing more capacity without building new roads or lanes, relies on extensive use of cameras, both for checking the variable speed limits used and to monitor usage.

The agency has also issued tenders recently for a National Traffic Information Service, valued at £100m to £200m, and an asset management system worth up to £80m.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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