More than 11,000 drivers have been caught speeding along a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of the A23 in just one year, The Argus can reveal.

Between September 2012 and October this year, 11,301 drivers were fined after speeding along the 40mph Handcross to Warninglid section of the trunk road.

Average speed checks are in place while the carriageway is widened as part of major Highways Agency improvements.

The fines will net the Treasury more than £500,000, a Freedom of Information request to Sussex Police revealed.

Of the drivers caught speeding, 2,183 attended a speed awareness course.

Courses are offered to drivers who were caught travelling at between 46mph and 53mph.

If they refuse, or have already attended a similar course in the past three years, they are also liable to pay a £60 fine and receive three penalty points on their driving licence.

A Sussex Safer Roads Partnership spokesman said most drivers did travel at 40mph or under.

Also speaking on behalf of Sussex Police, he said: “The A23 is one of the busiest roads in Sussex, carrying on average over 65,000 vehicle movements per day through the area covered by the roadworks.

“Therefore, the number of journeys where the vehicle was detected exceeding the speed limit equates to an offence rate less than 0.046%.

“As a comparison, the fixed speed camera at Halland in East Sussex was recently in the media. The offence rate there is 0.24%.

“The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership feel this is clearly a good news story, demonstrating that the overwhelming majority of road users recognise the need for the lower speed limit through the roadworks and adjust their behaviour accordingly.”

Highways Agency project manager Chris Bacon said: “Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency.

“The 40mph speed restriction through the major improvement work on the A23 between Warninglid and Handcross helps to protect drivers and our road workers, who are making good progress on the scheme and are only feet away from moving traffic.

“There were well over 23 million vehicle journeys made through the roadworks during its first year and we thank the more than 99 per cent of drivers who travel within the speed limit for their cooperation.”

The area is policed by hi-tech speed cameras, which are able to read number plates and allow any offence to be processed within a matter of days – far faster than ever before.