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New SPECS cameras on Tower Bridge?

 
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 12:45 am    Post subject: New SPECS cameras on Tower Bridge? Reply with quote

They installed new cameras on the North side on Tuesday and on the South side on Wednesday.

Does anyone know if they are SPECS or what they will be used for?
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Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they are SPECS cameras used as SPECS then they should have the SPECS sign on the upright posts to signify they are SPECS.

If they don't have them, they are most probably watching traffic flow and no more.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Highly unlikely to be SPECS as this is far from the kind of location for which they were designed and I doubt you could get over 15mph on Tower Bridge for much of the day anyway Sad
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speed limit has been reduced to 20 MPH from the traffic lights on Tower Bridge North side almost to the traffic lights on the south side of the bridge. Previously, the speed limit only applied to the bridge itself. Now I am almost certain that these are SPECS cameras.

The cameras are located at roughly TQ 33766 80621 and TQ 33581 80021 according to my map. I will mark the locations with my GPS next time I am out that way.

There are three cameras on each gantry. Two face the front of the traffic and one faces the back of the traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

There are 2 square boxes beside each camera, they have a dull red glow at night.

In the road there are marks where wires have apparently been laid.

I will try and get a photo of the installation when I can.#

As for speeding on Tower Bridge, during rush hour you have no chance (unless you are on a motorbike) 8O. In the evening or night time, there are no side roads and most of the 20MPH section is 4 lanes wide. They will make a fortune from these cameras....

I read some time ago that they were going to implement a camera system to enforce the 18 Ton weight limit on the bridge. Apparently this is widely ignored. I will try and find the document I read.

Drive Safe!
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have photos of these cameras, can someone take a look and see what they think they are. I think they are speed cameras.

http://www.auckland-services.freeserve.co.uk/specs.html
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mystery deepens! They're similar to a SPECS installation, the units either side of the cameras are as you surmised Infra-red scene illuminators and the gantry is identical even down to the circular frame that would hold the SPECS logo, see http://www.ukspeedtraps.co.uk/specs.htm Confused

I'm still not convinced though, I'd have expected more information out in the wild if they were installing SPECS systems in Central London and the location is odd for such a system, over such a short stretch a standard GATSO would fulfill the same purpose. I am willing to bet that these are part of either a traffic monitoring system specific to the bridge itself or an addition to the 'Ring of Steel' Anti-terrorism security measures installed around the City.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, me too. I don't think they're there for speeding. We have the same SPECS cameras on the M27 and M3, but usually you'll have one per lane (unless on a bend) in which case two can be enough, but these are only there for traffic monitoring.

Looking at the cameras in the above photo link, I can't quite see why there's a need for two cameras facing the same way on what really is a single lane road.

Another thing they could be there to check is for number plate recognition, the loop in the road triggers the cameras to read the number plate perhaps ?
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Talkingbollox
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

check this out http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2105-929138,00.html
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not good, London is becoming like America. Total Stupidity! Anything can happen!

I can see the whole of Britain in the next 10 or 15 years going through a SPECS kit out, and forcing normal motorists off the road for public transport, then finally forcing public transport off the road because they'll be getting fined more than the average motorist.

I just hate the way we're all being branded as criminals when we're not. Why not target other groups of crime rather than regular joe public. I also think in the next few years that if Conservatives promise lays true and they'll abolish all speed cameras, Labour will be voted out at one of the up coming general elections over the next 5 years because people have just had enough. It's one thing in cutting speeding, trying to get the reckless drivers and drunk drivers off the road, but when each and every one of us take a high risk when we sit in the drivers seat of the car and turn the key, Britain is going to hit breaking point soon where every resident is going to say enough is enough!
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MrT
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Congestion Charging? Reply with quote

Aren't these cameras for congestion charging?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, an extract from the Times article reads:

"Testing was under way last week on what are believed to be the country’s first speed cameras in a 20mph zone. Gantries have been erected at both ends of Tower Bridge in London, and three digital Specs cameras placed on each one. The Specs system consists of two digital cameras some distance apart, which recognise numberplates and calculate each car’s average speed. Until now, it has predominantly been used on motorways and A-roads. The RAC Foundation said it was unaware of any other speed cameras in 20mph zones.
Specs was installed at the request of the Corporation of London, which is concerned that more traffic is using the bridge since the advent of congestion charging, and that this will damage it. The cameras will also check lorries’ numberplates, cross-refer these to computerised records and so check for bridge weight-restriction infringements.

The cameras go live next month and large numbers of fines are likely. Cash raised will go straight to the Treasury rather than to local police. There are also concerns about the visual impact on one of Europe’s most photographed attractions. "
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:41 pm    Post subject: The other way Reply with quote

I suppose the camera facing the other way is to capture bikes and vehicles missing front number plates.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blah. So if the money is going to the treasury then the cameras don't have to be yellow then?

I see they have put up a speed camera sign on the bridge now. The 20 MPH limit used to be to protect the bridge from heavy vehicles going too fast across it, but they have extended the limit from the bridge itself to the traffic lights 200 yards on either side now. Everyone does 30-35 MPH across this bridge when it is quiet, so if they had SPECS enforcing a 30MPH limit they would make no money.

We are seeing more and more of these ridiculous 20 MPH speed limits. I often drive down a road which is about 1 mile long, has a park on one side and a cemetry on the other and only intersection. Until now it has been a 30MPH limit with a Gatso (N51.45335 W0.04973) at the intersection. Now there is a new 20 MPH speed limit and it starts about 12 feet from the Gatso. Absolutely unbelieveable. Angry
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