Speeding drivers on the M25 escape without tickets because new network of digital cameras is NOT switched onNot a single ticket has been issued from the motorway's network of 36 overhead digital cameras over the past yearHighways Agency say 'technical and legal difficulties' have prevented it from switching on the camerasAround 500,000 drivers use the London orbital motorway every day
07:50 GMT, 13 December 2012
Not a single driver breaking the speed limit on the M25 motorway has been issued with a ticket from its new overhead cameras over the past year.
A network of 36 digital cameras has been installed along the busy London orbital motorway by the Highways Agency, but the machines are yet to be switched on, according to a report.
The agency, which has blamed 'technical and legal difficulties' for the blunder, said it was working with police to solve the problem as a 'matter of urgency'.
'Incompetence': Safety groups hit out at the Highways Agency after it emerged that no tickets have been issued from its network of overhead speeding cameras on the M25 over the past year
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the failure emerged when the AOL website tried to identify which camera along the stretch of road had raised the most money in speeding penalties over the year.
In fact, it discovered, the cameras – the first of which was installed in 2009 – have failed to catch a single speeding driver.
The Highways Agency, which owns the network, said it was yet to receive statutory authority to use the new cameras on the Surrey, Hertfordshire and Essex stretches of the M25. The cameras covering these areas have not even been tested yet, the agency admitted.
In parts where it does have permission to put the cameras into use, the agency has been beset by 'technical' difficulties surrounding the upgrade of the old-style machines to the new, digital generation, it said.
Enforcement: Cameras have been used to catch speeding drivers on the M25 – one of Europe's busiest motorways – since 1995
Temporary average-speed cameras monitoring stretches of roadworks along the motorway are understood to be working.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency, who was unable to say how much the network of cameras cost or when they would be put into use, said that mandatory speed limits were still enforceable, and that the onus was on drivers to obey them.
Cameras have been used to catch drivers
breaking the limit on the route since 1995. Police patrols also enforce
limits on the motorway.
Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour's road safety spokesman, described the revelation as 'unbelievable'.
'The M25 is already used as a racetrack by number of reckless drivers. If there is one place where we need working cameras it is on that stretch of motorway,' he told the newspaper.