Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please could you provide me with the variable speed limit for this date and time please:
-18/07/19
-M4 eastbound J20-19
-Between 08:30-08:40
Thank you

Yours faithfully,
Samantha Broad

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

This is an automated response:

 

Thank you for your email to Highways England.

 

If you’re reporting a real time issue which requires immediate attention
please call the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000. 

 

A map of the roads for which we are responsible can be found here
[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk....
If the road you’re interested in isn’t on this map it will fall under the
jurisdiction of the local authority.  You can find details of local
authorities using the search facility on the gov.uk website
at: [2]https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council

 

If your email does relate to an issue on Highways England's network it
will be passed to the relevant team within Highways England and they will
respond to you within a maximum of 15 working days.

 

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Highways England Customer Contact Centre.

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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 |
[5]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[6][Highways England request email]

 

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6. mailto:[Highways England request email]

Price, Gareth, Highways England Company Limited

Our Ref 19168737

 

Dear Ms Broad,

 

Thankyou for contacting Highways England via email on the 12th August
 2019, I have been asked to answer your query. This response has not been
carried out under the Freedom of Information Act as this is information we
provide on a regular basis to our customers.

 

Highways England 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 between 0830hrs and 0840hrs on the
18/07/19, a speed limit of 40mph speed limit was in effect on the M4.

 

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 Highways England; 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][Highways England request email]

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

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

 

This email may contain information which is confidential and is intended
only for use of the recipient/s named above. If you are not an intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any copying, distribution,
disclosure, reliance upon or other use of the contents of this email is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and destroy it.

 

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][Highways England request email]

 

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

 

Consider the environment. Please don't print this e-mail unless you really
need to.

References

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4. mailto:[Highways England request email]