A VEHICLE which smashed speed limits by hitting a 'ludicrous' 123mph on a 40mph road has led to calls for traffic calming measures on a South Somerset road.

The driver was caught on Harp Road, near the village of Watergore, by a speed indicator device (SID) owned by South Petherton Parish Council.

In addition to the rogue speed demon, a third of drivers who passed the SID were travelling over the speed limit.

Cllr Adam Dance is the chairman of South Petherton Parish Council and the area's county councillor.

He said: "The parish council purchased the speed indicator device through the district council, after county council cuts meant they stopped providing them.

"It is a temporary device so we move it around the village.

"We actually find it is more effective that way, as people don't know where it is going to be so they pay more attention to the speed limit.

"Also, if people got used to where it was, then they would just ignore it."

The speed indicator device was initially placed on Hayes End, the road into the village from A303, and 33,000 people passed it during a two week stint.

The SID then spent a period of time on Silver Street, the road into the village from the north.

Then, between May 22 and June 4, the device was placed on Harp Road, near the village of Watergore - just south of A303.

"We knew that it would be quicker, but these results are just ludicrous," said Cllr Dance.

"It is scary that someone would go that fast.

"I knew it was going to be worse, but it is a hell of a lot worse than we even expected."

The portable speed device is set to continue to be moved around South Petherton, and once it has spent a second stint near Watergore, data will be passed to Somerset County Council and police.

Cllr Dance added: "It used to be a 50mph speed limit and they changed it to a 40mph area, but it has not made a difference.

"I got fed up. People kept contacting me about speeding and so I thought 'how can we prove there is a problem'.

"In the last six months I had spoken to about 50 people who raised this.

"We raised about £4,000 from the parish council, and we have had a good response from people.

"A lot of people have commented in a positive way, saying it is good or letting me know when it is out of power so we can get it going again.

"No one has said it is a waste of money."

Cllr dance also said that because Harp Road is part of the main diversion route when the Ilminster Bypass is closed, Somerset County Council will not put any traffic calming measures on it.

In total, 55,214 drivers passed the device during its two week stay near Watergore.

Around 18,220 of these (33 per cent) were travelling over the speed limit of 40mph.

The highest speed, the vehicle caught travelling at 123mph, was on May 30 at midnight.

Around 3,313 drivers (six per cent) were going more than 10mph over the speed limit.

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We have previously delivered a safety scheme through Watergore in 2014/15. Assuming the recent data regarding traffic speeds is correct, this could suggest an issue with enforcement which is a police matter. We would be happy to work with the community and police to discuss the issue and consider if further action is required.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We take road safety extremely seriously and will always look to ensure the appropriate measures are in place on any given road.

“When trying to make roads safe for users, all measures are considered when evaluating the evidence available, this includes, static and mobile speed cameras.”