If you’ve seemed to notice many more signs warning you about average speed cameras while you’ve been out on your travels lately, you’re definitely not mistaken.
The BBC has revealed that the coverage of average speed cameras on the UK’s roads has doubled in the last three years. The cameras, which calculate your average speed over a stretch of road, rather than catching you out at a specific moment, now cover 263 miles of Britain’s routes. There are 51 permanent average speed camera schemes in place at the time of writing, and plenty more put in place on a temporary basis, often around the site of roadworks.
The largest-scale scheme in place covers a full 99 miles on the A9 in Scotland. At the opposite end of the scale is a scheme covering the length of Tower Bridge in London – a rather scenic drive that people probably don’t object to slowing down for!
The Rise of Average Speed Cameras
The BBC cite various reasons for rise in popularity for average speed cameras. The first is technology. It’s far cheaper to implement an average speed system than it once was. According to the report, the cost was around £1.5 Million per mile back in “the early 2000s.” That cost has now dropped to around £100,000 per mile – still not an insignificant amount, but an amount that one assumes is easily covered by the revenue earned from fines!
Also on the subject of technology, it seems that on some occasions the powers that be are opting to replace old-style speed cameras with average speed cameras. The report reveals the surprising fact that some of these old-fashioned “yellow box” cameras still use traditional 35mm film.
The other factor, which will probably surprise some readers, is that average speed cameras are apparently “better received by motorists” than their old-school equivalents, at least according to the House of Commons’ Transport Committee. We’ll leave you to tell us if you agree with this in the comments section!