Suffolk: 123mph biker banned from roads

VILLAGERS last night called for action after a biker was clocked speeding at more than 120mph on a stretch of dual carriageway used by “boy racers”.

Magistrates in Sudbury yesterday told Mark Roper of Colchester there was “very little mitigation” for riding his powerful Honda VFR motorbike 123mph on the A134 outside Bury St Edmunds.

Roper, 47, of Dickinson Road, admitted riding more than 50mph over the 70mph limit on August 1 last year.

Addressing the court, Roper, who works in the motor trade in Chelmsford, said: “I’m really sorry for the offence and realise I’ve been realy stupid and irresponsible.”

Tess James, prosecuting, told how Roper was caught riding at over 120mph on the dual carriageway section of the A134 between the sugar beet factory and just south of Ingham.

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She said Roper was trying to pass a VW Golf on the inside lane.

However, she said, the VW driver decided to try and race with Roper, which led to him increasing his speed.

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When he was pulled over by the police, Roper told them it was a “fair cop” and that he risked losing his job.

Roper, who held a clean driving licence until yesterday, was banned from driving for 56 days, fined �240, ordered to pay �85 for the costs of the case and a �15 victim surcharge.

The stretch of A134 on which Roper was snared riding at 123mph is well known in the area for being used by “boy racers”.

There is almost exactly a mile of well-maintained dual carriageway between two roundabouts and a large lay-by where those planning to race one another are understood to meet up.

David Chappell, Fornham resident and ward member on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, last night urged the police to remain vigilant to the issue of speeders using the A134.

He said there were many elderly residents in the Fornhams and said normal, considerate, road users needed to be protected.

“Although I’ve never witnessed it first hand,” he said. “It is something that people have been aware of as happening. I would like the police to remain vigilant.”

Police say Roper was caught during a month-long exercise targeting speeding motorists in the area.

A spokeswoman for the police said: “Suffolk Constabulary is committed to reducing the numbers of persons killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads, and patrols are regularly carried out at sites where concerns have been raised by members of the public or collisions have occurred.

“In addition, we work with local people through community SpeedWatch schemes to reduce speeding and deal with offenders, and the Safer Neighbourhood Team which covers the stretch of road in question, St Edmundsbury Rural North, has a current priority of tackling speeding at various locations across its area.”

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