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 (3).
Location Speed Limit
Avon and Somerset Police
M4 J20 – 19 Eastbound 138 70
M1 J 13 12 Southbound 116 60
A14 Eastbound 128 70
A556 Chester Road 128 70
City of London
Upper Thames Street Stew Lane 86 30
M6 Todhills 136 70
A171 99 50
M1 Northbound, Tibshelf 110 50
A35 Tolpuddle Bypass eastbound 110 70
A66 Galley Bank, Barnard Castle 111 70
A127 Arterial Road Rayleigh 111 50
A417 Dartley Bottom 121 70
Greater Manchester Police
A5103 Princess Rd, Manchester 104 excess speed (40mph)
A31 123 70
A10 Great Cambridge Rd, Cheshunt, Herts 115 40
A180 Great Coates 125 70
M25 anti-clockwise Clacket Lane Services Jn 5
M25 clockwise Swanley 146 70
A683 Lancaster/Morecambe By-Pass, Heysham 115 60
M1 Southbound, Swinford 119 50
A1 Great Ponton Northbound 141 70
M62 112 50
Not revealed 123 30
A11 Ketteringham 120 70
A5 Crick Eastern Verge 140 60
A1 Western Bypass 103 50
North Wales Police
A5 Ty Nant to Dinmael, Conwy 136 60
A631 Beckingham 120 50
South Wales Police
M4 between J35 Pencoed and J34 Miskin 125 70
South Yorkshire Police
M1 S bound J31 Woodhall Services 100 50
A140 Coddenham 119 50
A3 Burntcommon 127 70
London Road, East Grinstead 128 30
Thames Valley Police
A4146 Leighton Buzzard to Bletchley Road 121 70
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