Free flow vehicle speed statistics

Information and statistics on free flow vehicle speeds.

These statistics relate to free flow vehicle speeds on British roads. Free flow vehicle speeds provide information on the speeds at which drivers choose to travel and their compliance with speed limits, but should not be taken as estimates of actual average speed across the road network.

An index sheet of all the free flow vehicle speed tables is available.

Average speed statistics are available from road congestion and reliability statistics.

Technical information

Free flow speed statistics are produced by monitored traffic speeds at about 100 sites using automatic traffic counters (ATC), deliberately located where external factors which might restrict driver behaviour are not present.

Statistics are presented by different road types and by different vehicle types. The term ‘built-up’ is used to describe roads on which a 40 miles per hour or lower limit applies; the term ‘non-built-up’ describes all other roads.

National administrations in England, Scotland and Wales are responsible for setting speed limits on motorways and trunk ‘A’ roads. Local authorities have the power to impose or vary speed limits on principal roads and on all other local roads. Details of speed limits by vehicle for different road categories can be found below.

Further technical information on the free flow speeds:

User feedback

We continuously review the content of these statistics to ensure they are meeting users’ needs. A summary of the feedback we have received from users is available in Meeting customers’ needs: users and uses of road traffic statistics and data.

We continue to welcome any feedback on these statistics.

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Road traffic and free flow speeds statistics

National statistics

All of the statistics published are National Statistics. Free flow vehicle speed statistics was assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and confirmed as National Statistics in February 2013.

Pre-release access list

The post holders given access to these statistics up to 24 hours prior to release are available in the pre-release access lists for road traffic, speeds and congestion.

See all statistics published by DfT


  1. Free flow vehicle speeds in Great Britain: 2015

    • National Statistics

Data tables

  1. Vehicle free flow speeds (SPE01)

    • Statistical data set
  2. Speeding offences and reported accidents involving speeding (SPE02)

    • Statistical data set
  3. Free flow vehicle speeds: tables index

    • Statistical data set