SPEEDING fines on one of Southampton’s busiest roads went up by more than 600 per cent in a year, after limits were dropped by 10mph.

Motorists using the city’s A33 Western Approach, which runs from the Redbridge Flyover to the Paynes Road exit, were caught by cameras 4,642 times in 2017, just four months after the limit was dropped from 50mph.

Previously just 637 fines were issued, between 2013-2016, on the busy stretch of road – which is used by more than 70,000 vehicles daily.


Broken down, 2,582 speeding instances were recorded on the Westbound carriageway in 2017, with a further 490 so far in 2018. On the Eastbound side, 2,060 fines were dished out last year, and another 412 were issued so far this year.

In total, 5,274 penalties have been given to motorists since the new 40mph limit was installed in August 2016, Freedom of Information requests reveal.

On Mountbatten Way, which is also part of the A33, after the Paynes Road exit to the West Quay Road junction, 178 fines were issued in the two-year period.

However, this has always been a 40mph limit.

If snapped by a speeding camera, drivers face a fine of between £30 – £300, as well as penalty points.

But if the incident is serious enough to demand a court appearance, a fine of up to £1,500 could be issued.

A spokesman for Southampton City Council said: “In August 2016 we introduced a temporary 40mph speed limit on the A33/A35 western approach into Southampton.

Daily Echo:

"The lower limit was first put in place whilst a structural audit of the parapets of the flyovers was undertaken.

“The audit recommended that the 40mph limit was made permanent to help reduce the risk of structural damage from a high speed vehicle impact.

“On top of the safety benefits it is also considered that the 40mph limit provides environmental benefits, helping to reduce vehicle noise and vibration, together with reducing air pollution with more consistent traffic speeds on the main and busiest route into Southampton.”


Hampshire Constabulary declined to comment.

The speed limit on the busy road was dropped following a major road incident in 2016, when a vehicle smashed into and damaged a flyover on the route.

It was originally only meant to be a temporary measure, but Southampton City Council announced in July that it would be making the change permanent.

Civic chiefs said that one of the major reasons harked back to the 2016 incident as they thought that keeping the limit at its lower level would reduce the chance of the structures being damaged.

Nevertheless, they also pointed to other benefits from moving away from the previous speed of 50mph, including reducing vehicle noise and vibration, lowering air pollution with more consistent traffic speeds.

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A spokesperson for road safety charity Brake welcomed the speed limit reduction, adding: “Lower speed limits reduce the numbers of devastating casualties on our roads.”

Councillor Steven Galton, ward representative for Millbrook, said more needed to be done on the road to improve safety and congestion.

He wants to see a variable speed limit introduced on the road, which would allow motorists to drive between 30mph and 50mph depending on the weight of the traffic.

He said: "Most locals feel that the speed along the whole of that road isn't monitored and just at certain points.

"The speed limits seem to be ignored for the rest of the road but what's concerning is people coming off the main road and on to roads such as King Georges Avenue at 40mph and not slowing to the 30mph limit.

"Police need to monitor the local roads more and I have written to them twice."

Councillor Dave ShieldsCouncillor Dave Shields

He added: "I also think a variable speed limit would improve air quality and give us an ability to control the speed of the traffic.

"The A33 is a three lane road so it is safe to travel at higher speeds."

Freemantle ward councillor, Cllr David Shield said the figures were encouraging and that anything which reduces the number of road accidents was "a good thing".

He added: "Some people have continued to be caught out by the change in speed and people will learn about it over time.

"The figure will go down over time but it's all about road safety."