Grey speed cameras to be turned yellow as part of safety drive

Grey speed cameras will be turned yellow in a bid to make them more visible and reduce incidents of sudden braking, the Government has announced.

The decision means all working cameras on England's motorways and major trunk roads will be yellow by October next year.

Highways England (HE) confirmed the plan after ministers ordered a review into speed camera policy earlier this year.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I've always been clear that cameras should be visible and get used for safety rather than revenue raising.

"This move is about applying common sense to our roads. Speed cameras should make journeys safer rather than lead to dangerous braking. I'm delighted Highways England have agreed to meet our timetable to achieve this."

A recent AA poll of over 29,000 drivers found that more than three in four (77%) agree that roadside cameras are an acceptable way of identifying speeding vehicles.

The motoring organisation's president, Edmund King, welcomed the decision to turn cameras yellow.

"Cameras are most effective when drivers slow down and being visible should make them more effective," he said.

"Motorways are our safest roads and having visible cameras should show that the intention is to slow traffic and save lives rather than generate cash. Drivers will be delighted by this move."

HE chief executive, Jim O'Sullivan, insisted that cameras are installed to enhance safety and reduce congestion.

He said: "We use cameras for safety and traffic management only when other more popular solutions like engineering are not adequate to tackle particular problems on our network."

There are around 200 camera sites on England's motorways, some of which contain multiple cameras. Existing guidelines state that road signs must be used to alert drivers.

Grey cameras were first introduced on the M42 near Birmingham in 2006 as part of the active traffic management scheme which involves variable speed limits.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the majority of colour changes will take place during the standard renewal of camera units to minimise costs.

Councils and police forces are required to publish information on the safety impact of speed cameras on local roads. DfT guidance states that these cameras should be yellow.