The Highways Agency and traffic cameras
The Highways Agency owns over 1500 Traffic Cameras and has been using them to assist with the management of traffic on the trunk road and motorway network in England for nearly 30 years. Wales and Scotland have separate operations.
The traffic cameras are usually mounted on 12m high masts on the grass verge or on overhead gantries but are often inconspicuous because they are not painted with high visibility paint, primarily because they are not used for speed enforcement.
The primary users of the traffic cameras are the Highways Agency’s Regional and National Traffic Operations Centre operators. The operators are able to move and zoom the cameras to monitor and manage congestion and incidents. The cameras give a bird’s eye view of what is happening which helps the operator to decide on the support needed.
Types of camera
For an overview of the different types of camera please visit the Cameras — Fair Processing Notice page.
Traffic camera images
The Highways Agency has developed policies and a technical interface that will allow stakeholders to view the images in a format suitable for their needs. The mechanism by which stakeholders are linked to the Highways Agency’s traffic cameras is known as the VIH (Video Information Highway).
An innovative partnering approach with media organisations and web hosts has been implemented, allowing nominated third parties or ‘media partners’ to access and disseminate still and live images to the public through their own traffic news bulletins and websites.
Who can access traffic camera images?
Everybody can access traffic camera images through www.trafficengland.com
The Highways Agency has developed various services that will allow stakeholders such as operational partners and stakeholders to view traffic camera images, however this service is currently suspended.