The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has lifted the lid on the worst examples of excessive speeding caught on safety cameras across England and Wales in 2014.
Britain’s two worst speeders were caught at 146mph, both by Kent Police on the M25. One was travelling anti-clockwise at Junction 5 at Clacket Lane Services, the other going clockwise at Swanley.
There were three other instances of speeds of 140mph or more being recorded; 145mph on the M6 toll road (70mph limit), 141mph on the A1 Great Ponton Northbound road (70mph limit) and 140mph on the A5 Crick road (60mph limit).
But perhaps the most astounding figure was 128mph recorded on London Road, East Grinstead – a 30mph road, exceeding the limit by 98mph.
The statistics come from a Freedom of Information request made by the leading road safety charity to police forces in England and Wales. The IAM asked each police force for the highest recorded incidences of speed caught on safety cameras in 2014, including locations, speed limits and top speed in each case.
Of the 41 police force areas the IAM requested the information from, 36 responded. All forces recorded at least one top speed over 110mph with the exception of City of London, Cleveland, Greater Manchester, Northumbria, West Midlands and South Yorkshire.
Wales’ top speeder was an individual who recorded 136mph on the A5 Ty Nant to Dinmael road in Conway, which has a 60mph limit.
London’s worst speeder was recorded at 123mph on a 30mph road by the Metropolitan Police. The location has not been revealed as it is exempt under Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act.
The highest figure recorded in a 50mph zone was 120mph, by Nottinghamshire Police on the A631 Beckingham road.
And the worst speed caught on a 40mph road was 115mph on A10 Great Cambridge Road in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.
The IAM’s fundamental belief as is that an improvement in driving skills and attitude is the key to reducing the numbers of people killed and injured on UK roads.
It has long advocated advanced driving and riding tuition and continuous development in skills to help achieve this (1).
Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “It is disheartening to say the least that some road users are showing such disregard for the safety of all other road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers.
“At speeds of 140mph an individual is travelling at nearly two-and-a-half miles a minute. At that speed it is simply impossible to react to anything that might happen in front of you.
“It is also impossible to handle corners, gradients, street furniture and junctions with any effectiveness. In short, all these individuals are playing with their own lives and others – they are all accidents waiting to happen and it requires a major shift in the attitudes of these people to think about safety.”
The IAM supports the use of safety camera systems at collision hot spots, on roads with a speed related crash record and at areas of proven risk, such as motorway road works (2).
A summary of the highest speed recorded in each police area follows:
Location-speed (mph)-limit (mph)
- Avon and Somerset Police
M4 J20/19 Eastbound-138-70
- Bedfordshire Police
M1 J 13 & 12 Southbound-116-60
- Cambridgeshire Constabulary
A556 Chester Road-128-70
- City of London
Upper Thames Street Stew Lane-86-30
- Cumbria Constabulary
- Cleveland Police
- Derbyshire Constabulary
M1 Northbound, Tibshelf-110-50
- Dorset Police
A35 Tolpuddle Bypass eastbound-110-70
- Durham Police
A66 Galley Bank, Barnard Castle-111-70
- Essex Police
A127 Arterial Road Rayleigh-111- 50
- Gloucestershire Constabulary
A417 Dartley Bottom-121-70
- Greater Manchester Police
A5103 Princess Rd, Manchester-104-excess speed (40mph)
- Hampshire Constabulary
- Hertfordshire Constabulary
A10 Great Cambridge Rd, Cheshunt, Herts-115- 40
- Humberside Police
A180 Great Coates-125-70
- Kent Police
M25 anti-clockwise Clacket Lane Services Jn 5-146-70
M25 clockwise Swanley-146-70
- Lancashire Constabulary
A683 Lancaster/Morecambe By-Pass, Heysham-115-60
- Leicestershire Police
M1 Southbound, Swinford-119-50
- Lincolnshire Police
A1 Great Ponton Northbound-141-70
- Merseyside Police
- Metropolitan Police
- Norfolk Constabulary
- Northamptonshire Police
A5 Crick (eastern verge)-140-60
- Northumbria Police
A1 Western Bypass-103-50
- North Wales Police
A5 Ty Nant to Dinmael, Conwy-136-60
- Nottinghamshire Police
- South Wales Police
M4 between J35 Pencoed and J34 Miskin-125-70
- South Yorkshire Police
M1 southbound J31 Woodhall Services-100-50
- Suffolk Constabulary
- Surrey Police
- Sussex Police
London Road, East Grinstead-128-30
- Thames Valley Police
A4146 Leighton Buzzard to Bletchley Road-121-70
- Warwickshire Police
M6 Toll Gantry 1165b-145-70
- West Mercia Police
A41 Tern Hill towards Whitchurch-118-60
- West Midlands Police
M6 J5 to J8-106-50