Bury St Edmunds: Biker banned after reaching 130mph on A14


A “foolish” motorcyclist has been banned from the road for 28 days after travelling at 130mph on the A14.

Ben Southgate’s case is believed to involve one of the highest speeds recorded on a Suffolk road.

Ipswich magistrates heard Southgate, of Great Saxham, near Bury St Edmunds, was going so quickly on his Yamaha R6 that police could not keep up with him.

The 25-year-old - who already had three points for speeding on his licence from 2011 - was only caught when he had to slow down for vehicles in front of him.

Southgate asked magistrates not to ban him as it would mean he was likely to lose his job and his home.

Representing himself, Southgate said: “It was just a foolish thing to have done. I hold my hands up and say it was a silly thing.

“I am just trying to keep hold of my job at the moment.”

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He added that he had now sold his T-reg motorbike.

Southgate then told the court: “If I do lose my licence it is going to make me homeless as well.”

Magistrates heard he worked as a maintenance worker on a farm and lives in a bungalow belonging to his employer.

Southgate’s job entails working at different farms and therefore he needed to be able to drive.

He said: “If I lose my job it (the bungalow) would have to go to the next gentleman that comes and takes my job.”

Despite his plea the chairman of the bench told him: “The speed of 130mph on a main road on a machine like yours, and the police struggling to keep up with you, means we have to disqualify you.”

In addition to Southgate’s ban, he was fined £230 and ordered to pay costs of £85, along with a victim surcharge of £23.

Southgate had pleaded guilty to speeding at Beyton on October 13 at an earlier hearing.

After the case Sergeant Paul Ward, of Suffolk Constabulary roads policing unit, said; “Any incident at that speed could result in a fatality, and when you consider that of the nine deaths on Suffolk’s roads this year four have been motorcyclists, you are not only risking your own life but that of other motorists and road users.

“Travelling at this speed can have serious consequences as you will have significantly less time to react, avoid or stop when a situation presents itself and other road users joining the road may not be able to see your approach until it is too late.”

“Speed is a factor in many collisions and we see the consequences – including devastated families who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and those seriously injured – so we would ask that all motorists think about their behaviour and moderate their speed accordingly.”

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