THE number of motorists speeding on Essex's roads dropped by more than 90 per cent at the start of the lockdown, new figures have revealed.

Essex Police caught just 465 motorists going above the speed limit in April when residents were urged to remain at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.

By comparison, 6,584 drivers were caught speeding in April 2019.

But the highest speed recorded by police was significantly higher in April this year, with 141mph registered.

A top speed of 112mph was recorded 12 months before.

The data on speeding offences came courtesy of a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Press Association.

The figures show most police forces across the country reported a dramatic fall in speeding offences in April.

But 13 forces did record a rise, with the Metropolitan Police in London revealing it had nearly an extra 3,000 cases compared to 12 months ago.

Road safety charity Brake has called on police to take a tough stance on speeding amid fears numbers will rise as the lockdown restrictions are eased.

Director of campaigns Joshua Harris said: “Any drop in speeding on the road is positive news, however, with traffic increasing on the roads, post-lockdown, measures must be taken to avoid a harmful rebound in dangerous driving and to minimise crashes.

“We need safe speed limits and tough enforcement from the police to help keep our roads as safe as possible and to try and sustain the positive increase in walking and cycling over the past few months.”

Essex County Council said there had been reduction in traffic on roads in April, with the Easter weekend said to be down 70 per cent on the same time last year.

The reduced traffic lead to a warning from Essex Police about the number of people found to be going in excess of 100mph.

Head of roads policing, Adam Pipe, said: “We know this is a really challenging and difficult time for everyone, but it’s not an excuse for road users breaking the law.

“We’ve some drivers doing 100, 110, 120, even 130mph on our A-roads and motorways and that’s just not acceptable.”