One speeding offence every three minutes on A6

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A road which has been designated as a dangerous ‘red route’ after a series of collisions saw an average of one speeding offence every three minutes while being monitored by police speed cameras.

Action is being taken to improve safety on the A6 between Finedon and Burton Latimer after four people were killed in accidents on the road during the last year.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

Police have increased patrols and are using a mobile speed camera van to support work being undertaken by Northamptonshire County Council in preparation for a series of traffic calming measures to be introduced, which will include lowering the speed limit, lane narrowing work and road re-surfacing.

During 90 minutes of filming recently, 36 offences were recorded by the speed camera and many other drivers were seen dangerously overtaking other vehicles.

Among those 36 offenders were people driving at what can only be described at excessive speeds.

A check of the licence plate of a motorcyclist who was recorded racing along the road at 105 miles per hour showed he was a local man, unable to use the excuse of not knowing the road.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

He can now expect to receive a court summons, as can another local male driver who was behind the wheel of a car this time and was clocked driving at 103 miles per hour by the mobile camera.

Any driver caught driving over 90 miles per hour can expect to be prosecuted through the courts.

Sergeant Tony Hopkins, from the Road Policing Unit, said he believed the stretch of the road was now one of the worst in the county.

He said: “We can quite clearly see that there are a number of drivers that are excessively exceeding the speed limit and putting themselves and other road users at risk when they are dangerously overtaking.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

On patrol on the A6 red route with Sergeant Tony Hopkins.

“The most recent fatalities have been on the stretch away from the roundabout. There’s something fundamental about that stretch of the road as to why it causes so many problems.

“I use the road regularly and I regularly see cars in the ditch at the bends near Finedon.

“I think something needs to happen because as a user I know how often the safety camera van is there, it’s there regularly enough for people to know it’s a hot spot, and people still carry on speeding.”

He added: “I think this stretch of roads has issues that makes it poor to users. The bends near Finedon appear to be a problem for users at night, even though it is lit. I appreciate the council have now re-surfaced that stretch of road which may reduce problems. The straight section of roads has continual issues with overtaking which I hope future plans look to resolve also.”

Police cameras catch speeding drivers

Police are using state-of-the-art equipment to monitor speeds on the A6 between Finedon and Burton Latimer.

The camera used has improved image quality from a range of 23m to 1,000m.

In just 90 minutes, operator Matt O’Connell recorded 36 offences, three of which were over 100 miles per hour, including a motorcyclist driving at 105 miles per hour and a car speeding along at 103 miles per hour.

In one series of events a male driver was seen overtaking at excessive speeds before signalling an abusive gesture to another driver as he prepared to do the same manoeuvre.

Since January, 125 offences have been detected by police on this particular stretch of the A6, with the fastest time recorded being 121 miles per hour.

During the past three years there have been 27 accidents which have resulted in injuries on the four-mile stretch, and there has been four fatal collisions in the last year.

The road has since been designated as a red route by highways chiefs to highlight the dangers to motorists and action will be taken to improve safety.

Police clamp down on dangerous over-taking

Vehicles persistently over-taking on the wider than average lanes of the A6 between Burton Latimer and Finedon is thought to have been the cause of many of the recent accidents on the road.

While out on patrol, Sgt Tony Hopkins pulled over drivers for over-taking. Despite some not committing any road traffic offences, Sgt Hopkins felt they could benefit from some words of advice.

Carl Truett, 43, of Higham Ferrers, was one of those driver who had not committed an offence.

He said: “I was overtaking as I wanted to go quicker than the guy in front of me.

“I am aware there has been fatalities on that road, but I was in control of the situation and there was no problem.

“I do see a lot of dangerous overtaking on the road. It’s not wide enough for four cars.

“I have noticed that the police have been here a lot in the last two to three weeks. I have got no qualms with them stopping me.”

A 20-year-old female driver from Melchbourne, who asked not to be named, was also warned about over-taking by Sgt Hopkins.

She said: “I thought that you were allowed to over-take because it’s a really wide road. People think there’s enough space. This has made me think more carefully.”