Average speed camera devices on the A9: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02203
Date received: 2 October 2017
Date responded: 20 October 2017

Information requested

Can you advise me of the following information relating to the A9 Average Speed Cameras:

  1. Is each monitored segment between adjacent cameras (i.e. Camera 1 to Camera 2, Camera 2 to Camera 3, etc) or are some segments a span of greater length (i.e. Camera 1 to Camera 4 or 5 etc).

  2. Communication - clearly each camera station has to communicate back to a central server in order to compare passing times. Is this communication by fixed landline (copper or fibre) or is a radio link used, such as GSM or a satellite link?

  3. Field of view - What is the camera field of view angle?

  4. Ancillary Equipment - What ancillary equipment is installed in addition to the main camera? I.e. Lighting, other sensors etc. For this equipment, what is the power and frequency of any emissions?

  5. Parallel routes - If a motorist passes a camera, leaves the A9 onto a parallel route and re-joins the A9 at a later stage, and in that time completes the distance in such a time as to have a calculated average speed in excess of 60mph, how can it be proven where the offence occurred?

  6. Dual Carriageway - Are there plans to monitor the dual carriageway sections, existing and/or future, with average speed cameras?


As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

I have numbered our response for ease of reference.

1. Average speed camera enforcement devices can be used between a number of potentially live locations, but not all locations are configured to be live simultaneously. The Police can choose which enforcement sections they wish to make live, given driver behaviour and operational characteristics on the A9.

2. The A9 system uses a wireless solution allowing multiple cameras to operate over different sections of the route.

3. and 4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies to both questions is that any equipment, including anxillary equipment that is contained on site have been subject to Home Office Type Approval (HOTA).

All average speed camera systems on Scotland's roads require Home Office Type Approval (HOTA). This is a testing and certification process by the Home Office in the United Kingdom that speed cameras must pass before evidence from them can be admissible in UK courts by way of certification in accordance with Section 20 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA) (Amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991).

However, you may wish to contact Police Scotland at foi@scotland.pnn.police.uk who may be able to help you.

5. Transport Scotland and its partners continue to monitor safety performance across the trunk road network. Part of this assessment has involved the monitoring of routes parallel to the A9 to assess any displacement of both traffic volume and speeds. This exercise did not evidence any issues on the routes monitored.

6. The criteria for deploying Safety Cameras requires a history of both accidents and speeding as outlined in the Scottish Safety Camera Programme Handbook. A link the handbook has been provided below:

The new and future dual carriageway sections of the A9 are being constructed to the most modern safety standards which includes grade separated junctions removing one of the highest risk areas of potential traffic conflict. Transport Scotland will monitor the safety performance of the route, using an evidence based approach to enable resources to be prioritised across the country to effectively support the delivery of the Scottish Government's 2020 casualty reduction targets.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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