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Drainage improvements on major Cumbrian road

Flooding on the section of the A66 where work is taking place to improve drainage Credit: Highways England

A project to upgrade drainage on a stretch of the A66 near Penrith is due to start on Wednesday.

The month-long Highways England scheme will tackle flooding issues on the section of the road near Whinfell Park, around three miles east of the town.

The majority of the work will be carried out overnight although a temporary 40mph speed limit will be in place at all times of day for the safety of drivers. During night work (between 8pm and 6am) temporary traffic lights are going to be in use. Drivers may also be led through the roadworks in 10mph convoys on some occasions.

“The ditch next to the A66 is prone to becoming blocked which causes it to flood and leaves water on the road.

“We’ll be installing a new drainage system which should prevent this from happening again in the future, but we’ll need to have a temporary speed limit in place so the work can be carried out safely.

“The project will improve safety for drivers as it will reduce the risk of flooding on this stretch of road.”

– Peter Gee, Project Manager at Highways England

Man and child killed in A66 crash named

Tony and Michael Jopson Credit: Cumbria Police

A man and child who died following a road traffic collision on the A66 at Crackenthorpe have been named.

Michael Jopson, aged 25, and Tony Jopson, aged 18 months, both of Old Tebay, Penrith, died at the scene of the collision on Monday 25th May 2015.

Michael and his two sons were travelling in the Peugeot 307. The second child, aged under one, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary. His condition is serious but stable.

The family have paid tribute to Michael and Tony in a statement issued via Cumbria Police.

The statement said:

"Michael was the centre of his family’s world, tragically taken he has left a world shattered. Loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother, nephew and cousin who has filled our lives with joy, smiles and happiness and whose jokes never got any better.

“Tony, our budding little gardener and minion super-fan, has been snatched from our hearts, taken too soon, leaving behind his little brother Logan who requires our prayers at this dreadful time.

“Devoted wife and mother Tamarah has been left with no words, and only the strength to focus on Logan’s recovery. To have had her soulmate and her first born, both of whom meant the world to her, taken from her so suddenly has caused great distress.

“Both Michael and Tony leave behind a big hole in the hearts of their immediate and extended family and friends who are all left in shock but would like to thank the local community for their support.

“Our thanks go to Cumbria Police, the North Air Ambulance Service and the team at the RVI Hospital, without whom Logan would not have received the critical medical attention he required.”

– Family statement

Police were called at 5:11pm following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the eastbound carriageway.

The vehicles involved were a HGV and a black Peugeot 307.

Michael and his two sons were travelling in the Peugeot 307. The second child, aged under 1, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary. His condition is serious but stable.

The driver of the HGV, a 47 year old man from County Tyrone, was unhurt.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to contact police on 101 and ask to speak to the Operational Support Unit.

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Police launch Operation Natterjack

Police are launching an operation to improve driving and safety standards on the A66 east of Penrith to the county boundary.

The operation, codenamed Natterjack, aims to make this section of the A66 much safer by encouraging compliance with traffic laws by observation and enforcement.

Operation Natterjack focuses on motoring offences such as lack of a concentration by using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Inspector Phil Davidson, of the Operational Support Unit, said:

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions.

More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out.

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions. More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out."

– Inspector Phil Davidson, Operational Support Unit

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Two die in A66 road accident

A crash on the A66 Embleton has claimed 2 lives.

A 49 year old man from Wigton died when his Yamaha motorcycle collided with a Hyundai i10 car driven by a man from the Cockermouth area yesterday at 12.55pm on the A66 Embleton.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are appealing to anyone who may of seen the incident, and are also keen to speak to the driver of a Mitsubishi 4x4 which was towing a horsebox travelling towards Keswick who may have witnessed the collision.

Investigations into the incident is under way and anyone with information is asked to call Cumbria Police on 101.

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