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Variable Speed Signs, M5, J16-17 Southbound, S Glos 17/05/2021 at 20.57

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Dear Highways England Company Limited,

Please could you provide me with the Speed limit on 20/05/2021 at 20:57 for M5 J16-17 Southbound.
If the speed limit had changed prior to this, please could you confirm what time the speed limit changed and from what did it change and what did it go to and why there was the change?

Yours faithfully,

RS

Highways England, Highways England Company Limited

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Highways England Company Limited | General enquiries: 0300 123 5000
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South West Enquiries, Highways England Company Limited

Our Ref: 21936912

 

Dear Mr Scott,

 

Thank you for your email of 21 May 2021 requesting speed limit information
on the M5 between junctions 16 and 17.

 

We're sorry to inform you that we won't be able to provide you with this
information as quickly as usual. Due to an issue with our database, we
currently have a backlog of speed related enquiries to work through.

 

We now have the systems in place that will allow us to look at enquiries
in more detail. However, our process to extract the information can be
lengthy and we have a number of enquiries to work through, so cannot
guarantee a fast response.

 

We would like to remind you that we're not an enforcement agency. We
record 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.
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.

 

With this in mind we ask whether you could please confirm for us by 14
June 2021 whether you still wish to be provided with this information. If
we do not receive confirmation by this time that you would like your
enquiry to remain open, we'll close your enquiry and will stop providing
you updates.

Mark Conlon | Business Services Administrator | South West Operations

Highways England | Brunel House | 930 Aztec West | Bristol | BS32 4SR
Web: [1]www.highwaysengland.co.uk

Have you spotted a problem on our roads? Let us know about it by using our
[2]online reporting tool

 

 

 

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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][Highways England request email]

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

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Dear South West Enquiries,

Your Ref: 21936912

Further to your response of 7 June, I can confirm that I would still like to be provided with this information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Scott

South West Enquiries, Highways England Company Limited

Our Ref: 21936912

Dear Mr Scott,

Thank you for your email confirming you still require the speed information you requested on 22 May 2021. We're currently working through our backlog of requests and will provide you with this information as quickly as possible.

If you're requesting this information because you've received (or are expecting to receive) a speeding fine, we'd suggest waiting to see if you've received a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the Police. You'll receive this with 14 days of your car being caught speeding. Our 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.

Avon and Somerset Police will be able to provide you with any further photo evidence they hold. More information on how to go about obtaining this can be found by following this link https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/re....

Your enquiry will remain open. We appreciate your patience whilst we work to answer your questions. Should you no longer require this information, please do let us know.

Kind regards,

Mark Conlon | Business Services Administrator | South West Operations
Highways England | Brunel House | 930 Aztec West | Bristol | BS32 4SR
Web: www.highwaysengland.co.uk

Have you spotted a problem on our roads? Let us know about it by using our online reporting tool

show quoted sections

South West Enquiries, Highways England Company Limited

3 Attachments

Our ref: 21936912

 

Dear Mr Scott,

 

Thank you for your email of 22 May 2021 requesting speed information for
the M5 between junctions 16 and 17 on the 20th May 2021. We now have
access to the reports to answer your question, we appreciate your patience
whilst we worked on resolving this.

 

Attached is a spreadsheet detailing the changes, and times of the changes
to the gantries you’ve requested. The rows you’re interested in have been
highlighted for ease. The report indicates the gantries weren't displaying
anything at this time following the closure of the dynamic hard shoulder.

 

On Smart motorways with a dynamic hard shoulder we use the term ‘LBS’
(lane below signal) rather than the conventional ‘hard shoulder’, ‘lane 1’
etc. This is because the hard shoulder can also be a running lane, so to
avoid confusion we use a convention that can be used regardless of the
status of the lane.

 

This is raw operational data intended for internal use and so can look
quite complex to someone not familiar with the motorways. Below is an
explanation of what each column and row is showing:

 

 

The EquipmentRef Column shows the a series of numbers and letters. This is
broken down for your understanding below:

 

 

The spreadsheet has been organised with tabs along the bottom, labelled
with the gantry numbers eg 8362B, 8355B etc. These tabs run in the order a
motorist would pass under the gantries. In the event multiple speeds are
requested the most restrictive setting will take priority and be displayed
on the road. For example, if the queue protection system(MIDAS) requests
40 restrictions, and the congestion management system requests 60
restrictions the sign will display a 40 restriction. As a general rule
speeds are equalised across a gantry, therefore a 40 displayed above LBS 2
will result in a 40 above LBS 3 and 4. The lines highlighted show the
times you are interested in as per your original email.

 

MIDAS stands for Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling.
This system uses small loops cut into the road surface to detect the speed
and volume of traffic. It is then able to set signs and signals to best
suit the traffic conditions. The benefit of this system is that it can
monitor all areas at the same time and react to changes more quickly than
a human operator.

 

The drawback of the system is that it can only react to the data it has,
for example it can misinterpret either a slow moving heavy vehicle, such
as an abnormal load, or a convoy of slower moving lorries as a queue or
congestion event and would then react by reducing speeds and setting
appropriate signs. The system cannot close lanes, open or close the hard
shoulder to traffic or reduce speeds below 40 mph.

 

Other terms used in the report are listed below for your reference:

 

·         REDX – ‘Broken’ Red X displayed over LBS1 when the hard shoulder
is not open to traffic.

·         HSD – Hard shoulder divert. White arrow directing people to move
over to LBS2 prior to a closed hard shoulder.

·         LDR – Lane divert right, white arrow instructing motorist to
move right into the next lane. Usually displayed on the sign prior to a
lane closure.

·         LDL - Lane divert left, white arrow instructing motorist to move
left into the next lane. Usually displayed on the sign prior to a lane
closure.

·         STOP – Red X closing the lane.

 

Please note, we're not an enforcement agency. We record 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. 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.

 

We hope this answers your enquiry. If you have any further queries, please
contact our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 or
[1][Highways England request email]

 

Kind regards,

 

Mark Conlon | Business Services Administrator | South West Operations

Highways England | Brunel House | 930 Aztec West | Bristol | BS32 4SR
Web: [2]www.highwaysengland.co.uk

Have you spotted a problem on our roads? Let us know about it by using our
[3]online reporting tool

 

 

 

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 |
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... |
[5][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

Visible links
1. mailto:[Highways England request email]
2. http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/
3. file:///tmp/report.highwaysengland.co.uk
4. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
5. file:///tmp/[Highways England request email]

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Richard Scott please sign in and let everyone know.