Blunt your speed on A66

Date: Monday 3rd December 2018

ADMITTEDLY it is one of Cumbria’s busiest roads, but the figures revealing that more than 17,000 drivers have been prosecuted for speeding over a one-mile stretch of the A66 in the last two years have come as a surprise even to the police.

The A66 from Penrith to Scotch Corner is quite rightly regarded as dangerous — the numnber of fatal accidents on the road on an annual basis demands that extreme care is taken by motorists.

A total of 18,172 offences have been recorded by fixed cameras on the 40mph average speed section past Kirkby Thore and by mobile cameras between Sandford and Brough. But the number of drivers contravening the limit is even higher, as these figures relate to people breaking the law by going significantly beyond the national enforcement level of speeding, not those who are just a few miles per hour over the limit.

The police are hoping that the high number of prosecutions relating to single carriageway stretches of the road, which are regarded as the most dangerous, will act as a deterrent — and so it should if the carnage which continues to be inflicted on many, many families is to stop.

Part of the problem with the A66 is that it is divided into stretches of single and dual carriageway, and the temptation is for drivers who are frustrated at being unable to overtake HGVs or other slow-moving vehicles to speed up to get past them, adding to the potential for even more accidents.

There are moves to make the road between Penrith and Scotch Corner dual carriageway in its entirety — and that cannot come soon enough. But in the meantime, the message to drivers is clear.

Don’t break the speed limit. By doing so you are making the A66 even more dangerous than it already is.