The mystery of 150mph Hampstead motorist

A STUNNED resident has found that a speed recorder has clocked a vehicle doing 159mph down Fitzjohn's Avenue

Marc Mullen

A STUNNED resident has found that a speed recorder has clocked a vehicle doing 159mph down Fitzjohn's Avenue.

Farokh Khorooshi, chairman of the Fitzjohn's Avenue Residents Association, asked Camden Council's traffic engineers for data from the flashing speed sign installed on the road last year. The sign records the speed of cars with a laser and, if they are breaking 30mph, flashes at them to slow down.

And Mr Khorooshi was amazed to discover that someone had driven past the camera at 159mph at 2.36am on July 23 last year.

He said: "I find this absolutely terrifying. At that speed the normal rules of physics retire and we are talking about a missile going down Fitzjohn's Avenue. We need to do something to stop that before there is a fatality."

And eight days later, the recorder noted a vehicle doing 155mph down the road. Mr Khorooshi added: "There could be kids there. I wouldn't give the lollipop lady a chance with that."

Most Read

Councillor Chris Knight said: "I cannot imagine what could get up to that speed. It's totally ridiculous that you have got Fitzjohn's Avenue, a long straight street without any speed control whatsoever. I can hear motorbikes at 2.30 in the morning racing down that road."

The data from the flashing speed sign revealed that in just eight days, 7,519 vehicles passed by at more than 33mph - the allowable 10 per cent above the speed limit. Residents and other groups now want changes to the road layout to stop speeding, which the Ham&High outlines this week on page 19. Cllr Knight also wants the London Camera Partnership to move the camera currently on Rosslyn Hill to Fitzjohn's Avenue.

A spokeswoman for Camden Council said: "The majority of drivers are driving at speeds under 31mph. However, the council is aware that there are some who are driving at excessive speeds.

"In a bid to tackle offenders who drive at these excessive speeds the council has established a group of local people to look into other options for encouraging reduced speeds and more walking and cycling in Fitzjohn's Avenue.

"The council has secured some Local Safety Scheme funding in 2008/09 to implement additional measures and will take this scheme forward in consultation with the local community."