Cameras - Fair Processing Notice

Images of vehi­cles are mon­i­tored and may be recorded by High­ways Agency (HA) cam­eras, as peo­ple travel on motor­ways and other roads in Eng­land that are man­aged by the HA. The infor­ma­tion is used to man­age traf­fic, sup­port the pro­vi­sion of travel infor­ma­tion and to pro­mote pub­lic safety. For more infor­ma­tion, call 0300 123 5000.

Cam­eras — Usage

The High­ways Agency (HA) oper­ates cam­era sys­tems on England’s motor­way and trunk road net­work that utilise Closed Cir­cuit Tele­vi­sion (CCTV) and Auto­matic Num­ber Plate Recog­ni­tion (ANPR) technologies.

The HA are inter­ested in man­ag­ing the flow of traf­fic and for this pur­pose do not need to be able to iden­tify indi­vid­u­als.  There­fore, nei­ther of these sys­tems rou­tinely cap­tures infor­ma­tion that would allow such iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.  The lim­ited cir­cum­stances in which HA may be able to iden­tify an indi­vid­ual are when CCTV cam­eras zoom in when inci­dents occur, mean­ing that in some instances the HA is cap­tur­ing per­sonal data as defined by the Data Pro­tec­tion Act 1998.

HA CCTV Cameras

HA CCTV cam­eras are used to mon­i­tor traf­fic flows on the Eng­lish motor­way and trunk road net­work pri­mar­ily for the pur­poses of traf­fic man­age­ment. They also pro­vide the Agency with a valu­able appre­ci­a­tion of how road-users make use of the net­work.  This knowl­edge helps ensure future public-funded invest­ment is made most effectively.

The cam­eras are posi­tioned at strate­gic loca­tions to pro­vide an overview of real-time traf­fic con­di­tions for the HA’s National and Regional Traf­fic Con­trol Cen­tres (NTOC and RCCs).  This enables traf­fic infor­ma­tion to be pro­vided through a vari­ety of infor­ma­tion ser­vices which trav­ellers can use to plan their jour­neys bet­ter. Images from these cam­eras can be viewed on our web site at

HA ANPR Cameras

HA ANPR Camera

HA ANPR cam­eras, iden­ti­fi­able by their bright green hous­ings, are spread across almost 500 strate­gic sites and sup­port traf­fic man­age­ment by send­ing data to the NTOC from which traf­fic flow infor­ma­tion is cal­cu­lated.  ANPR cam­eras do not cap­ture all num­ber plates pass­ing a cam­era instal­la­tion as only one lane is gen­er­ally cov­ered.  There are restric­tions, in accor­dance with the Data Pro­tec­tion Act 1998, on the HA’s use and stor­age of data from these cam­eras.   HA ANPR data is per­ma­nently encrypted at the moment of ‘cap­ture’ into a non-unique text string to pre­vent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of indi­vid­ual vehi­cles (i.e. full num­ber plate details are not recorded or stored) before trans­mis­sion to NTOC at inter­vals of up to 5 minutes.

Non HA Cameras

In addi­tion to cam­eras oper­ated and owned by the HA, there are cam­eras oper­ated by other organ­i­sa­tions and Agen­cies. ANPR cam­eras are also oper­ated directly by the police for crime pre­ven­tion pur­poses, the Dri­ver Vehi­cle Licens­ing Author­ity (DVLA) and the Vehi­cle & Oper­a­tor Ser­vices Agency (VOSA) for the pur­poses of pub­lic safety and crime detec­tion.   Some enforce­ment cam­eras are oper­ated by Safety Cam­era Part­ner­ships aimed at com­pli­ance with speed lim­its.  A pri­vate sec­tor com­pany, Traf­fic­mas­ter, oper­ates ANPR cam­eras to cap­ture traf­fic flow infor­ma­tion to deliver traf­fic ser­vices for trav­ellers. These cam­eras look sim­i­lar to the HA ANPR cam­eras, but are painted dark blue.

All access to cam­era data is strictly con­trolled in order to pro­tect the pub­lic from mis­use and the HA is not able to access per­sonal data from the cam­eras oper­ated by these organisations.