A POLICE boss has spoken out over the rise in ‘Covid speeders' since the coronavirus lockdown came into effect.

Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl has described it as among the most irresponsible and anti-social aspects of the coronavirus crisis.

Since the lockdown began, a high proportion of his emails from the public have complained about excessive speeds and reckless driving on the county’s largely deserted roads.

Two people have been killed in separate collisions and the constabulary’s camera enforcement team recently recorded speeds of 104mph on a road with a 60mph limit; and 74mph in a 30mph limit. Speeds of up to 122mph have been recorded on the Gloucestershire stretch of the M5.

Mr Surl said: “Speeding and antisocial driving is unacceptable at any time, but when the roads are free of traffic, some people seem to think it’s all right to put their foot down.

"In the last couple of days for example, we have high speeds of 108mph and 104mph both of which will be appearing at court in due course.

“Whilst the Constabulary is deployed on other aspects of the pandemic, enforcement continues with the aim of catching these idiots. The police would be rightly criticised if they did not provide a level of deterrent, especially at these extremes.

“The emergency services are concentrating their efforts on managing the spread of Covid-19, so it’s crucial that we don’t add to their workload through careless and reckless driving.

“I urge road users to consider the strain being put on the NHS during these unprecedented times and to drive considerately”.

Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for road safety and the fire and rescue service, said: “We don’t want to add pressure on our already stretched emergency services, who are doing an incredible job in their response to Covid-19, so please remember to drive safely if you’re making an essential journey.

“Although the roads may be quieter at the moment, the importance of taking extra care has never been greater so I would ask motorists to drive considerately and consider the consequences if they do not.”