New ASE cameras will be installed and switched on in Birmingham and Solihull on July 18, it has been confirmed.

A plan to reintroduce camera speed enforcement on the roads of Birmingham and Solihull was formally agreed late last year and now the final preparations are complete, the cameras are ready to be installed after three years since obsolete wet film devices were last used locally.

Project partners from Birmingham City Council (BCC), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC), West Midlands Police (WMP) and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have decided to adopt a system using average speed cameras because historically compliance with speed limits is far better than with mobile or fixed-point cameras.

The new 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. A clear signing strategy is used to inform drivers that they are entering an average speed control zone.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I promised that I would improve road safety and do all I could to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our roads. That is why I am pleased that these safety cameras are being delivered.  Speed is one of the biggest causes of deaths on the road and one of the biggest issues that local people raise with me on a daily basis.

“Birmingham and Solihull are installing the cameras and the police are supporting them by processing and enforcing the fines.  This shows that we are on the side of the overwhelming majority of motorists who drive safely and sensibly.”

Superintendent Kerry Blakeman, from West Midlands Police, said: “Our intention is for people to adhere to the speed limit. Those who exceed the limit will have to attend a speed awareness course where they will be educated about the dangers of speeding or face either an appearance at court or a fine and points on their licence.

We hope that the presence of these highly visible cameras will ensure that road users comply with the set limits on roads in Birmingham and Solihull.”

Latest figures show that in the years 2010-2014, there were 2,356 people killed or seriously injured in Birmingham and Solihull, an average of 471.2 per year.

Cllr Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said: “I want a clear message to be heard by the region’s motorists – I’m not Bob Geldof, I don’t want you to “give us your money”, I just want you to comply with the speed limits that are there to improve safety for everyone who uses the roads of Birmingham and Solihull.

“Most people will see no impact to their overall journey time as this is all about enforcing speed limits that already exist on the roads in question – all of which are routes with a significant record for accidents historically.

“It will only be the minority who continually exceed the speed limit and endanger others who will be caught by our adoption of this new modern technology.”

The cameras will be located across Birmingham and Solihull and will be operational for a term of five years. There will be an initial 21-month evaluation phase to assess the effectiveness of the cameras, equipment and the overall system.  The initial pilot at these routes will do much to help inform the wider efforts to make the region’s roads as safe as they can possibly be.

Cllr Ted Richards, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “This new digital technology will play a very important role in keeping the region’s roads safe. Thousands of people use the roads through Birmingham and Solihull every day and any work that local authorities can do to keep them safe is certainly positive.

“The cameras, and associated signs, are very noticeably; the only people being caught are those who choose to ignore them.”

The routes of the digital average speed cameras are as follows:

Birmingham routes:
A38 Bristol Road between Priory Road and Speedwell Road – 30mph
A456 Hagley Road between Portland Road and Lordswood Road – 30mph
A4540 New John Street between Lucas Circus and Hospital Street – 30mph
A34 Newtown Row Northbound between New John Street West and Newbury Road – 30mph
A45 Coventry Road between Berkley Road and Rowland Road/Steyning Road – 40mph
Solihull routes
B425 Lode Lane (between Henley Crescent and Moat Lane) – 30mph
B4114 Bradford Road / Chester road (in the vicinity of the junction) – 30mph
A3400 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath – 30mph

The proposed routes chosen have been based on the following criteria:
–    There is a history of collisions and casualties at the camera site zone.
–    Speed surveys indicate that speeding vehicles is an issue.
–    There is no realistic and appropriate engineering solution that can be installed at the location to reduce collisions and vehicles exceeding the speed limit.

Speed cameras in the West Midlands – recent history
In April 2013 West Midlands Police [WMP] informed the public that speed cameras across the metropolitan area would be switched off until such time as a suitable digital solution could be found.   WMP remain committed to road safety and has been targeting dangerous and, speeding motorists through the use of state-of-the-art mobile cameras.

A task group comprising officers from BCC, SMBC, WMP and AECOM have been scoping and developing the project phasing.  The pilot is to consist of the installation, operation and maintenance of the digital safety cameras initially in Birmingham and Solihull.

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