Police forces are cracking down on speeding motorists taking advantage of quieter roads during the coronavirus lockdown.

Over the last few weeks there have been several incidents of unacceptable speed across the region – the worst of which saw one driver hitting 144mph in a roadworks 50mph zone on the M65.

In Lancashire, operation Manta Ray began on May 6, with patrols pulling over drivers using the quiet roads like 'their personal racetrack'.

Following the individual campaigns, Lancashire's force has joined Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Merseyside for a two-week push to urge motorists to slow down.

Chief Inspector Sue Bushell, of Lancashire Police’s tactical operations unit, said: “Sadly, across the North West there has been an increase in some people driving at excessive speeds, potentially putting themselves and others at risk.

“In Lancashire we launched Operation Manta Ray to tackle those motorists who think they can use the roads as their personal racetrack.

“We will continue to act on the concerns our communities have raised.

“No matter how quiet the roads may be currently, the speed limit still applies.”

Last week, the driver of a Porsche was caught speeding speeding at 144mph on the M65.

While on Saturday a BMW was pulled over by officers on the same motorway after being caught being driven at around 120mph.

On May 10, officers in Blackburn stopped several drivers after clocking them reach speeds of up to 70mph through residential streets.

And on May 8 police blasted a driver’s behaviour as ‘totally unacceptable’ after they were caught speeding past a static speed camera on Manchester Road in Baxenden doing 100mph on the 30pmh road.

A spokesman from the Lancashire Roads Partnership said: “We are appalled to discover a vehicle was detected by a yellow camera at 100mph on Manchester Road at Baxenden where the stretch of road is 30mph.”

Another vehicle was stopped on the M65 between junctions seven and eight on May 7, after accelerating away from a police car which was on its way to a crash.

Officers clocked the car was travelling at a whopping 127mph.

And on Wednesday morning, police stopped a vehicle on the M62 after clocking speeds of 94mph.