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Wales adopts mobile average speed cameras

The ripping sound is Clarkson removing Wales from his road atlas

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The Welsh government is planning to introduce ANPR average speed camera technology as part of its work to cut road deaths.

Officials told the National Assembly for Wales Enterprise and Learning Committee that the Welsh government is moving towards adopting average speed camera technology, although not everywhere and not as a major change of policy.

The first systems, which use automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) technology to record the time it takes for vehicles to travel between two points, are set to be mobile rather than fixed.

In evidence to the committee, officials said that it has been relatively expensive to operate the technology because there has only been one approved manufacturer, but more systems are coming on to the market.

Richard Brunstrom, former chief constable for North Wales, told the committee that he welcomed the introduction of average speed measurement devices.

He said that the first average speed cameras will be mobile, rather than fixed, so that they can be moved around to where the need is greatest.

The chief constable and the Welsh government officials were giving evidence for the committee's report on casualty reduction and trunk road management.

"Evidence has shown that average speed cameras are more effective in achieving driver compliance," says the report. "We recommend further investment in, and greater use of, mobile camera technology on the trunk road network in Wales."

The committee, whose remit covers transport, economic development, social enterprise and lifelong learning, concluded that "cutting edge technology" has an important role in bringing down speed.

It added, however, that it would like to see "an increase in human interaction" between the police and road users complementing the investment in robot cameras.

Committee chair Gareth Jones said: "While the UK may have, statistically, the safest roads in Europe we should not rest on our laurels. We believe the Welsh government should grab the opportunity to affect real change on our road network and show we can lead the way in reducing road accidents and vehicle emissions at the same time."

This article was originally published at Kable.

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