Free Flow Vehicle Speeds in Great Britain 2014

  • Published: Department for Transport, October 2015
  • Authors: Department for Transport
  • Date Added: 10 Feb 2016
  • Last Update: 10 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf

Objectives

Statistical Release presenting the speed of traffic in free flowing conditions on roads in Great Britain during 2014.

Methodology

The estimates are based on traffic speed data collected from a sample of 93 Automatic Traffic Counters (ATCs) from a national network of around 180 ATCs. The sample was deliberately chosen to include ATCs located where external factors which might restrict driver behaviour (including junctions, hills, sharp bends and speed enforcement cameras) are not present.

Key Findings

  • On motorways, 46 per cent of cars and 46 per cent of motorcycles exceeded the 70mph speed limit in 2014. Eleven per cent of all cars and 17 per cent of motorcycles were travelling 10 mph or more above the speed limit (motorcycles make the highest proportion of vehicles travelling at this speed).

  • On single carriageways, 7 per cent of cars and 20 per cent of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit in 2014. Eight per cent of motorcycles were more than 10 mph over the limit.

  • Around 79 per cent of heavy goods vehicles exceeded their 50 mph speed limit on dual carriageway non-built-up roads in 2014, whilst 70 per cent exceeded the 40 mph limit on single carriageway non-built-up roads. Very few heavy goods vehicles exceeded their speed limit of 60 mph on motorways (as they are fitted with speed limiters).

  • On 30 mph roads, 45 per cent of cars and 47 per cent of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit in 2014. Fifteen per cent of cars and 21 per cent of motorcycles were more than 5 mph over the limit.

  • The number of cars exceeding the speed limit on 30 mph limit roads has dropped by 20 percentage points from 65 per cent in 2001, to 45 per cent in 2011.

  • The percentage of cars exceeding the speed limit has fallen on every road type in the 10 years since 2001. For all vehicle types, more vehicles exceeded the speed limit on 30 mph roads than on 40 mph roads; this pattern has been observed for many years.

Comments

National statistics. The statistics provide insight into the speeds at which drivers choose to travel and their compliance with speed limits.

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