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 www.highways.gov.uk.
HA ANPR Cameras
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.