The Government has claimed that contract negotiations for the provision of speed cameras nationwide will begin 'shortly'.

A statement from the Department of Justice said today's Cabinet meeting had confirmed it will be proceeding with a countrywide safety camera network from a private operator, in line with the Road Safety Strategy.

It said the tender process is at a very advanced stage, and that contract negotiations with the preferred bidder will commence shortly.

Delays in the provision of the system have been severely criticised by Gay Byrne, the chairperson of the Road Safety Authority.