New figures have revealed a speed camera in Southampton, caught 51,049 drivers between 2015 and 2017.
The minimum fine it generates is £100, so the speed trap could have generated in the region of £5 million. Driving groups were ‘astonished’ by the figure – which is a significant outlier in the top ten list – and asked for the 30mph speed limit, on the wide stretch of dual carriageway, to be increased.
It comes as the full list of the top ten busiest cameras i the UK is revealed, showing that cameras on the M62 near Manchester, and one near the Dartford Crossing in Essex are also huge money-makers.
The top 10 sites between them recorded more than 350,000 drivers breaking the speed limit – yielding as much as £35million in fines.
The A3024 Maybray King Way camera in Southampton, which polices a 30mph limit on a dual carriageway, topped the list. In second spot was one on the M62 in Greater Manchester between Junctions 19 and 20 where 38,836 speeding drivers have been caught between 2015 and 2017. In Essex, the Dartford Crossing recorded 38,729 motorists breaking the limit.
Roads in Suffolk, south Wales and Lincolnshire, as well as main routes near Coventry and Southend, all feature in the places where the cameras have caught the most drivers.
The 10 UK speed cameras which have caught the most speeders
1. A3024 Maybray King Way, Southampton – 51,049
2. M62 westbound J20 and J19, Greater Manchester – 38,836
3. A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing, Essex – 38,729
4. A217 Southend arterial road, Essex – 37,950
5. A12 near Straford St Mary, Suffolk – 36,753
6. North Road, Cardiff, south Wales – 35,884
7. A1 Barrowby Thorns, Lincolnshire – 30,835
8. A45 Ryton Bridge flyover, near Coventry – 27,942
9. M11 near Luxborough Lane Road, Chigwell, Essex – 26,810
10. M4 Port Talbot, south Wales – 25,548
(Activations in calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017, police data via FOI)
Hugh Bladon, a founder of the Alliance of British Drivers, said: ‘If a lot of people are being caught it may be that the speed limit on that road is ridiculously low.’
He added: ‘The speed limit needs to be reassessed to see what the normal speed of the road is. The limit should be set at the speed that 85 per cent of drivers take the road at.
‘It is not uncommon that limits are lowered due to an accident, but it doesn’t mean that the speed drivers are driving can be classed as unsafe.’
But Local MP Royston Smith said: ‘I think if you put the speed limit up, people will drive up to and break that new limit.’
Southampton City Council said the authority were asked to carry out a review of all the A and B road networks by the Department of Transport, and that it was considered appropriate to ‘keep the limit down to 30mph’ on Maybray King Way.
AA president Edmund King said: ‘Our polls show that, over the last decade, more than 70 per cent drivers accept the use of cameras. Yet, obviously, they are not happy if they are caught or caught out.
‘But a 30mph road generating the highest number of speed camera activations in England and Wales is astonishing.
‘However, the Department for Transport acknowledges that speed limits should be evidence-led and it may be that the dualling of the A3024 at that point means many think it has a higher limit. It would be interesting to see how many offenders are new visitors to Southampton.’
Mr King added: ‘The other section of road that jumps out is the number of activations at the Dartford Crossing.
‘With a major incident capable of jamming the road network across the south east of England, the number of speeders chancing their arm makes you sit up.
‘There again, how many are drivers racing to get through the crossing before the Dart Charge comes into force daily?
‘Perhaps if the toll was abolished, as it was supposed to be after the project was paid for, there would be fewer vehicles speeding.’