Just had someone from TfL on the phone. He's investigating for me and promises more info next week, but was able to confirm that this installation is for the Tag and Beacon Congestion Charge trial. He says a leaflet will be going out to residents next week about them.
Researcher for Valerie Shawcross AM
Assembly Member for Lambeth & Southwark
There is a new 'danger deep excavation' site outside Potters Fields which looks very much like the site at the corner of Bermondsey Street did at the beginning. Is this yet another hideous bank of cameras in the making does anyone know?
We have received this response from TfL. I was intrigued to hear that TfL would be assessing the "aesthetics of the structures" over the coming weeks. A poll sounds like a good plan and perhaps people would like to email [email protected] direct to tell them what they think of this poles (please cc [email protected])
Researcher for Valerie Shawcross AM
London Assembly Member for Lambeth & Southwark
Letter to Val Shawcross AM from Michele Dix, Director, Congestion Charging
New cameras on Tooley St and Borough High St
Fiona Colley from your office contacted us with some comments and queries on the works that we are undertaking on Tooley Street and Borough High Street to which we are happy to respond.
The structures have been erected as part of TfL's Technology Trials programme to evaluate potential technologies to support the existing Congestion Charge zone by reducing operating costs, improving accuracy and easing use of the scheme by road users. The structures are part of a trial to test the accuracy of different ‘tag and beacon' technologies, commonly used elsewhere in the world, in the London environment. The target date for any such improvements is 2009, before which wider tests in representative areas would be conducted.
The trial is being carried out with the support of Southwark Borough Council who were consulted on the purpose and scope of the trials. Two public meetings (Community Councils) were also attended to explain the proposals to residents.
The structures at both locations include cameras for the purposes of number-plate capture and equipment to communicate with tags fitted into trial vehicles operated by TfL and volunteer organisations. The cameras operate in a similar manner to those used for enforcement in the current congestion charging area. Images of vehicles will only be retained for as long as is needed to evaluate the improved technical solution and to inform further technology assessments. Furthermore, I must emphasise that the equipment is being used for trials use only and is not used for enforcement - the trials team is not in contact with the DVLA and so identification of vehicles and their owners does not occur.
The structures are temporary (the trial is scheduled to finish in Spring 2006) and, as CCTV poles, they do not require planning permission.
The aesthetics of the structures will be assessed by TfL over the coming weeks as part of the trial. Southwark Borough Council have also been invited to participate in this process. In the meantime, a reduction in the visual impact is already being evaluated including a reduction of the number of devices on the pole and improved equipment position and alignment to present a cleaner outline. These improvements are expected to inform later phases of the technology evaluation and further developments are anticipated in this area before any potential roll-out of this technology from 2009.
Should you require any further information, please contact the Congestion Charge Technology Trials team on [email protected]
On the government's lovely plans to make *you* pay for the retention of lots and lots of useless, but privacy-infringing, data about you. While this current proposal relates to telecommunication and internet data, don't be under any illusion that the same arguments have already been trotted out for retention of data on where you were driving and when.