Police have revealed plans to bring speed cameras back to the West Midlands – 12 months after they were switched off

A new trial of fixed digital cameras is set to launch in October 2014 across selected sites in Birmingham and Solihull after 305 speed and traffic cameras were switched off across the region in March last year.

Since then speed enforcement operations have been carried out by four mobile police camera units, fixed motorway cameras and individual traffic officers. Now it has been revealed the cheaper digital cameras will be introduced to see if some of the fixed sites can be reintroduced.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann outlined the plans to the West Midlands Police Crime Board. He said: “Exploratory work is underway to assess the viability of deploying new digital fixed speed cameras in Birmingham and Solihull. A tender document is being prepared by the local authorities for the supply and installation of equipment. The potential running costs for West Midlands Police are still to be confirmed but it is unlikely that they will be fully covered by the income generated from the resulting speed awareness courses and this will be a consideration when assessing the potential viability of the project. Since the fixed cameras were switched off there has been more reliance on mobile vans. We estimated that we would see 65,000 activations and we are pretty much in line to meet those figures.’’

The funds from speeding fines are passed on to the Treasury with West Midlands Police only eligible for a share of funds generated from driver awareness courses.

Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones told the Board: “The pilot will see the use of new digital cameras, which are more efficient to operate. They will offer remote access to the information, which will mean the officer costs will be minimal when compared to the other cameras, which had film.’’

He added: “We will not be committed to this if the pilot does not provide the results we want to see in terms of improving safety and reducing casualties.”