A13 Average Speed Cameras Go Live

By BethPH Last edited 89 months ago
A13 Average Speed Cameras Go Live

Remember last year we told you about TfL’s plans to introduce average speed cameras to the A13 in east London? Well, it’s all done and dusted and the cameras go live on Monday 31 January.

Anyone using the stretch of dual carriageway between Barking and Canning Town over the last year will have spotted the gantries; the signs saying they were under test disappeared pretty quickly though the presence of even non-functional cameras will have given the heavy right-footed pause.

The series of Gatso cameras currently on the A13 will be decommissioned once the new system is live, which will at least remove the hugely irritating habit some drivers have of braking heavily at a Gatso  site regardless of whether or not they were obeying the speed limit up to that point. For anyone who usually has more interesting things to think about, SPECS works by using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify a specific vehicle, measure the time it takes to travel between two points and calculate its speed. Think you can avoid being caught by changing lanes? You can’t – SPECS are not lane-specific.

The current 40mph limit in the area will be raised to 50mph, though in rush hour you’d be hard pushed to achieve anything other than crawling pace – the A13 is notoriously congested. TfL’s claim that the new SPECS cameras may prevent collisions also provokes some scrutiny: anyone familiar with the A13 can tell you that collisions in the worst areas are often caused by drivers changing lanes without looking properly, so the implication that accidents are primarily caused by vehicles exceeding the speed limit is somewhat disingenuous. The new cameras should rightly deter drivers from breaking the speed limit but TfL’s press release appears to endow them with properties they don’t really have. Speed cameras can act as a deterrent and punish law-breakers after the fact, but what they can’t do is prevent accidents.

It appears that the A13 is the first major urban road in the UK to get average speed cameras so don’t be surprised if TfL start popping them in on other major London roads.

Photo by nicobobinus

Last Updated 29 January 2011

Mizter T

If everyone's driving is a bit calmer and folk aren't heavily dropping the anchor every time they see a amera before speeding up again then yes I reckon this could result in fewer accidents occurring (by deterring driving behaviour that often results in accidents).

FWIW the press release does say "it is hoped the introduction of these new speed cameras will reduce collisions by around 30 per cent".

Mizter T

^^^ Where "amera" should read "camera" of course!


Be careful, these camera signs should read 'VARIABLE' as the limit is NOT 50mph it actually varies from 50mph down to 40mph then back up to 50mph and then down to 30mph, this is signposted but most people will see the initial 50mph and there mind will accept this and ignore the change in speed signs.
I know I got caught out myself.
These cameras are about financial income and not safety, why else can a motorbike still do 70+ and not be affected by forward facing cameras?? They want you out of your car.


I live in West Ham and use this stretch of road twice a day or more, every day. It is a dangerous stretch of road because along this particular stretch, there are numerous slip roads and flyovers and you get people not familiar with the area doing last minute lane changes, also, I have seen reckless idiots doing between 70 and 90mph along this stretch, braking excessively at the speed cameras, it will be inconvenient to me as I usually do a consistent 50 but I think it will make it safer, esp from these types of speeding drivers!!


I use this stretch of road all the time and some people are just so inconsiderate and don't know how to drive, sometimes people just shoot onto the A13 from the slip roads, I've seen people not even stop as they try to join the A13, then last minute lane changes to come off the A13 coupled with the flyovers and speeding at 70+mph, it is really dangerous, not sure the cameras will stop accidents but maybe it will help the severity of them if the traffic is moving slower (obviously not in rush hour as traffic moves about 2mph).


Nottingham's Ring Road and other arterial routes had average speed cameras installed 10 years ago, there is also a lenghty stretch on the A14 and a permanent section on the M60 in Manchester. So not quite a UK first as reported!

MarkThe W

AngryKid: The speed limit is not variable - it is fixed at the speed of the signs. The M25 is variable in that the speed limit is varied according to conditions.


Has anyone actually received a fixed penalty using this stretch of road,as most drivers are still driving at 60-70mph


If a few drivers are still doing up to 70mph despite all the very obvious signs and cameras then it's unlikely that the prospect of penalty points or a fine will deter them. Though the sheer number of drivers I see in average speed camera zones driving over the limit and then braking at each camera suggests that many people don't understand the concept of having their speed measured over a set distance.


I still see so many people driving way above the speed limit. I often wander
if those camera actuallworking. Also the first set of cameras just before
Dagenham, west bound, are concealed in a overhead section, I wander how many
people know they are there?


I noticed that on the news they said that these weren't working due to no-one getting speeding tickets...............well, maybe its due to people sticking to the speed limit??!!

Herp Derp


As a night shift worker for LUL, i drive into and out of London 5 nights a week, ive seen people racing past me doing over 100mph, I dare not risk it tbh, but all the time i see people going past me doing at least 60. Do they work? have people been caught out? would be nice to know seeing as they're still putting in MORE cameras along this stretch of road, they recently put the cameras in the over head section before the ones which are existing, you can just about see them, they're till concealed though so when theres roadworks there again you can be sure thats another bank of cameras up and running, if they do work that is.

Tony Blair

I wonder how long it would take if we all stopped speeding to put these blood suckers out of buisness. That way we could at least address the real problem of "dangerous" driving rather than the "miss-direction" of blaming speed; speed is only targeted as it is easily measured. Don't be fooled by these ridiculous claims that speed is directly responsible for accidents. It's at best a very small contributing factor in a very small number of incidents.  


can we have an update on the A13 Average speed cameras, people still pass me at 70+ MPH are these cameras working or has valuable money been wasted again?


I just received a fixed penalty and 3points for driving 59 on the A13, they are deffo working!! came as a total shock to me as I am not a speed demon, driven for 20yrs with no endorsements etc, I dont usually drive the A13 but that day in question I had a genuine family emergency, so not sure if  I can contest it, or just take it on the chin!