More than 300 drivers were caught speeding on a stretch of the A35 in just over seven hours during a major joint police force operation – more than 40 an hour.

Officers from Dorset and Devon and Cornwall Police carried out patrols between Bridport and Honiton after Highways England highlighted the road for the number of drivers ignoring speed limits; thus heightening the risk of a crash.

One motorist was clocked travelling at more than 100mph during the seven-and-a-half hour operation.

Another was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs while also having no insurance, MOT, tax or valid licence.

Staff from Dorset Road Safe, the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership (Devon and Cornwall), road casualty reduction officers and the No Excuse teams from both forces were all involved.

Police used marked and unmarked patrol vehicles along the route, which also included a section of the A30 from Exeter to Honiton.

In total, 319 vehicles were detected speeding during the operation on the A35 and roads leading to it, which included a motorcyclist travelling at 95mph, a car at 103mph and three class restricted vehicles (limited to 60mph) travelling at 90 or 91mph.

In addition, Alliance Roads Policing officers handed fixed penalties to three drivers with expired MOTs, one driver who was not wearing a seatbelt, four who had no insurance and one with no valid driving licence.

Four vehicles were seized and one driver was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Another was dealt with for driving whilst disqualified.

Alliance Roads Policing PC Ralph Delbridge, who co-ordinated the operation said: “Our priority is to safeguard the public and the level and number of offences detected on this road indicates that the area justifies our deployment.

“More importantly, it sends a clear message to those who break the law and endanger themselves and others by doing so – you will be caught.”

The Alliance Roads Policing Unit and Highways England are working together to explore longer term measures to improve road safety and speed management along the A35 in Devon and Dorset.

Residents see speeding 'all the time'

A group of residents campaigning to slow down traffic from the A35 into Bridport has welcomed the police crackdown and hopes to see more of them taking place.

Direct Action Now Group East Road (DANGER) is a Community Speed Watch (CSW) group targeting speeders on East Road in Bridport.

Speaking of the police crackdown, spokesman for DANGER Dave Gibbons said the numbers were 'unsurprising.'

"We see people speeding all of the time," he said. "Sometimes they're so fast we can't even catch their registration plates. It's very dangerous, and we have elderly people and disabled people who are too frightened to try and cross the road.

"We would love to see the police doing more of these."

Mr Gibbons says more controls are needed as a long term measure to improve road safety and speed management along the road.

Chideock sees drivers speeding through the village frequently, according to residents. 
Anna Dunn, of the Chideock Bypass Working Group, says motorists have been caught at speeds between 80-90mph at night. 
"We even have a new speed limit which many people are not adhering to," said Mrs Dunn. "We get a lot of people speeding right through."