Traffic camera/CCTV services

We use traffic cameras to assist with the management of traffic on the motorway and trunk road net­work in England

National Highways and traffic cameras

We own over 1500 traffic cameras which have been used 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.

Primary users

The primary users of the traffic cameras are our 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.

Traffic camera images

We've 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 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 the Traffic England website.

Requesting CCTV/traffic camera footage after an incident

All requests for traffic camera/CCTV footage need to be made within 5 days of an incident occurring, as footage is only kept for 7 days on our systems.

To request footage, we will need:

  • the exact date and time of the incident
  • the exact location (for example, between junctions 1 and 2; 2 miles before junction 4)
  • the direction of travel (for example, northbound; clockwise)
  • the lane were you travelling in
  • your vehicle details (make, model, colour, vehicle registration number)
  • the other vehicle(s) involved (any details or description you may have)
  • the nature of the incident
  • any incident/reference numbers if you were issued one (for example, by the police)

When requesting footage, please consider:

  • cameras are installed to view the overall traffic conditions and not individual vehicles
  • there is limited likelihood of a camera pointing in the right direction at the right time
  • the level of zoom affects whether registration details are visible

Please send your request, with the required information, to info@nationalhighways.co.uk or alternatively call 0300 123 5000.

If footage is available, you will need to provide 2 forms of ID before images are released to you.

Please also read our CCTV Privacy Notice.

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