Motorists protest at ‘average speed’ cameras for A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach

Motorists are to lobby City Hall over plans to install ‘average speed’ cameras leading up to the Blackwall Tunnel—one of London’s most congested and heavily-used main traffic routes.

The cameras would check average speeds at several points along a 10-mile stretch of six-lane duel-carriageway on the tunnel’s southern approach—with drivers facing fines, endorsements and even bans if they go over 50mph.

TfL plans to spend up to £15 million on the cameras on four major routes including the A102 Blackwall Approach, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Alliance of British Drivers.

“London taxpayers would be funding unnecessary monitoring schemes while the beleaguered car-owner is used as a cash cow for Whitehall,” said the motoring organisation’s Roger Lawson. “All fines from motorists would go to the government and not to TfL.”

Selective “safety” data was being used to justify the cost of the camera technology when the cash should, instead, go on improving obsolete junctions which cause more accidents, he claims.

Segregated dual-carriageways like the Blackwall Tunnel approach are safer than inner city streets which have conflicting flows of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians and won’t benefit from costly ‘average speed’ monitoring, the drivers’ alliance argues.

The issue of whether cameras reduce accidents came to light during Highways Agency studies when motorway roadworks were being monitored with temporary cameras. Speed cameras were found to have no effect on accident rates, the studies found.

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Road engineer Paul Smith, who founded the Safe Speed campaign, said: “Cameras don’t help at all—yet camera partnerships between police and local authorities are allowed to continue fleecing motorists with no safety benefit.”

TfL’s first ‘average speed’ scheme was brought in two years ago in east London on the A13 between Canning Town and Beckton.

Other schemes the Alliance of British Drivers say are planned on dual-carriageways apart from the Blackwall Tunnel approach are the A406 North Circular between Finchley and Hanger Lane, the A40 from the Paddington Flyover westward and the A316 Richmond-Twickehham bypass.