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Confirmation of speed limit

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Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please can you confirm the speed limit on 08/11/21 at 14:13 at M4 J20 -19 Eastbound and the time prior to this the limit was changed.

Yours faithfully,


Price, Gareth, Highways England Company Limited

Our Ref  22118676


Dear Alex,


Thank you for contacting National Highways via email on the 16^th November
2021, I have been asked to answer your query. This request has not been
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act as this is information we
give to customers on a regular basis.


National Highways records some signal data for operational purposes;
however our database is not certified or calibrated to enforcement
standards, and it is not connected to the variable speed cameras. It may
contain errors, particularly in the times at which particular speed limits
were recorded, since (unlike the enforcement cameras) it was not designed
to provide 100% accuracy. This means that the records we hold do not
constitute legal proof of what speed limit was displayed, and could not be
relied on in court for the purpose of challenging a speeding ticket.


In order to answer your query, I consulted the information available to me
in this database; this indicates that at 1413hrs on the 8/11/21, the
speed limit was 50mph.


The electronic signals on the M4 have been installed as part of the
J20-J19 smart motorway scheme. The aim of this scheme is to actively
control traffic flow and reduce congestion, using variable speed limits
set in response to conditions on the road, as well as by opening up the
hard shoulder as a running lane at busy periods. Existing smart motorways
have successfully reduced congestion without compromising safety, at a
significantly lower construction cost to the taxpayer than traditional
road widening.


Enforcement is one of a number of measures which are used to encourage
compliance with speed limits, so that the benefits of the scheme can be
delivered to road users. Camera warning signs are used to ensure drivers
are aware that enforcement is in operation on these sections. Variable
speed enforcement cameras are operated by the Police, and the information
generated by them is not held by National Highways ; this means that I do
not have access to any details of offences recorded.


However, I can tell you that the cameras are certified by the Home Office,
to ensure that they operate fairly and provide legal proof of what speed
limit was displayed. This involves strict design requirements which mean
that they can only enforce a reduced speed limit if it is correctly
displayed and the system is working properly; they are not capable of
enforcing a different limit to the one which is displayed. Because of
this, confirmation of the speed limit can only come from the information
held by the Police, which is used to generate the enforcement notices.


I hope that the information I have provided helps to explain why this
system is needed, and that there are safeguards in place to ensure it
operates fairly.


If you have any further queries, please contact our Customer Contact
Centre on 0300 123 5000 or [1][email address]


Yours Sincerely,


Gareth Price, Regional Enforcement Co-ordinator
National Highways| Brunel House | 930 Hempton Court | Aztec West | Bristol
| BS32 4SR
Web: [2]http://www.highways.gov.uk



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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
|National Traffic Operations Centre, 3 Ridgeway, Quinton Business Park,
Birmingham B32 1AF |
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[4][email address]

Registered in England and Wales no 9346363 | Registered Office: Bridge
House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4LZ

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