The Department of Transport hailed the cameras, alongside some of the busiest routes, as an important contribution to road safety.
Figures compiled in the first nine months after they were introduced show that fatalities and serious injuries caused by road accidents fell by 41 per cent and the total number of casualties dropped by 22 per cent. Accidents were down by 24 per cent, there was a significant drop in the number of people speeding and average speeds were down by 5-7 per cent.
Steve Norris, Minister for Transport in London, said yesterday: 'Speed cameras are clearly playing an important role in our efforts to reduce road casualties and will, I am sure, make a significant contribution towards achieving our target of reducing casualties by a third on all roads by the year 2000.
'Speeds have also dropped substantially. On Twickenham Bridge, for example, the number of drivers travelling over 60mph has fallen by a staggering 98 per cent in the past year.
'The fall in the number of deaths is particularly dramatic - only three in nine months compared with an average of 16 before the cameras were introduced. However, we have got to persuade the hard core of drivers who still drive too fast that what they are doing is socially irresponsible and totally unacceptable.'
About half the police forces in Britain have introduced roadside cameras and most are impressed by the results. In Devon and Cornwall, there has been a drop of more than 50 per cent in the number of people speeding where they have been installed.Reuse content