THOUSANDS of drivers have been caught speeding on the M4 around Newport since enforcement was introduced six months ago, new figures confirm.

The data, released by the Welsh Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, GoSafe, confirms more than 13,000 people have exceeded the variable speed limit.

The system was introduced in 2011 but was inactive for five years. Fines have only been issued since October 10, 2016 following a 14-day period where advisory notices were sent out.

New figures from GoSafe reveal 13,195 notices of intended prosecution have been issued between the cameras going live and February 28 2017, equating to around 84 offences per day.

Notices cover speed awareness courses and impending courts dates in addition to fines for speeding on the 13km stretch between Junction 24 Coldra to Junction 28, Tredegar Park.

The prosecutions can be handed out whatever the variable limit is. This ranges from 20mph (32km/h) to 70mph (112km/h) depending on congestion levels.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Although it is still relatively early days in terms of measuring the success of the system, it’s encouraging that compliance with the speed limits continues to improve, enabling the system to work as intended.”

The Welsh Government introduced the Variable Speed Limit (VSL) system in a bid to reduce congestion while improving road safety and journey time reliability.

According to GoSafe, when vehicles travel at consistent and similar speeds, journey times become more predictable.

As previously reported by the Argus, Welsh Government’s economy and infrastructure secretary, Ken Skates AM, said the scheme, since it’s launch, has “helped improve traffic flow and reduced the number of accidents along this stretch”.

While he stressed that the “majority of drivers adhere to the limits in place” he added a “minority of drivers continue to flout the displayed limits and act as if the restrictions do not apply to them.”

GoSafe, the Welsh Road Casualty reduction partnership, includes 27 equal partners – the Welsh Government, the 22 Welsh authorities and the four police forces.

Last year it was reported in the Argus that within the first three days of the cameras going live, 238 people were caught speeding in the variable section, between the junctions for the Coldra and Tredegar Park.

Around 27 days after the scheme’s launch, variable speed limit cameras caught 2,588 motorists.

Figures up to the end of March are expected to be released later this month and the speed camera system will be reviewed after a year’s operation.

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