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UK government wants cameras in every residential neighborhood

London Evening Standard | April 15 2004

Drivers are facing an explosion of speed cameras in London, a leaked Labour document reveals today.

Secret plans would see hundreds of cameras fitted in quiet streets around the capital.

They would replace speed humps, which are seen as an inconvenience for law-abiding motorists, and would be used to enforce a new lower speed limit of 20mph for all London residential zones. Extra cameras could also be installed along main roads.

The measures would raise thousands of pounds in extra fines. But motoring groups warned that cameras on side streets could be opposed by residents.

The proposals are set to form a central plank of Ken Livingstone's mayoral re-election manifesto after they were included in a policy paper prepared in private by Labour members of the London Assembly.

They fly in the face of government pol icy, which restricts cameras to proven accident blackspots.

However, there were separate reports this week that ministers may water down the rules by allowing some cameras to be installed on roads where there have been no serious accidents.

London already has 400 speed cameras, with more than 6,000 across Britain. Mr Livingstone called this year for more cameras "in every residential neighbourhood" to enforce speed limits.

The inclusion of the idea in the Labour Assembly group paper means it is almost certain to become party policy.

The document, Labour's Agenda 2004-2008, states: "The use of well designed and placed road humps remains a useful tool in improving road safety, but in the long term we support a move towards camera-based enforcement of speed limits.

"We will investigate the feasibility of introducing additional speed cameras on main roads and at junctions. Labour will support a reduction of the speed limit in residential areas, and around schools and hospitals, to 20mph."

Emergency services would welcome the removal of speed humps. However, motorists may feel the new cameras are a money-making scheme not linked to road safety.

Other proposals likely to feature in the Mayor's manifesto include free bus travel for under-18s and cheap bus fares for jobseekers.

The congestion charge would be expanded westwards, but only "after full public consultation".

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