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Dangerous drivers caught by police using unmarked HGV

Hundreds of dangerous drivers have been caught by police using an unmarked HGV.

Over the last two years almost 400 drivers were pulled over by Cumbria Police and other North West forces. Highways England released this video showing a driver checking his mobile with his foot on the dashboard:

Other offenders include a lorry driver spotted reading a book while driving on the motorway, and another who was seen using two mobile phones at once.

The offenders were among more than 4,000 dangerous drivers in England caught by the unmarked HGV over the past two years.

Officers gave verbal advice to 388 drivers, issued 838 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 3,318 traffic offence reports. There were also 113 prosecutions for more serious offences.


Planned roadworks across Cumbria

Road works are planned across the region Credit: PA

Several road works have been planned across Cumbria for the week from Monday 10 July to Sunday 16 July, some of which may lead to disruptions:

  • A590 Ulverston: Cumbria County Council improvements are continuing around the junction between the A590 Lightburn Road and Daltongate. Temporary traffic lights are in place for carriageway widening, kerb realignments, new crossing facilities, new street lights, new footpaths, new parking bays and improved signs. The work is due to be completed in August.
  • A66 Bassenthwaite Lake: A contraflow system for flood resilience work has now been replaced by a single lane closure on the eastbound carriageway. The scheme is due to be completed in July.
  • A66 Thornthwaite (Osprey Site): Flood resilience work is being carried out on the A66 at Thornthwaite. Temporary traffic lights are in use along with a 40mph speed restriction. The scheme is due to be completed later this summer.
  • A66 Stainmore Café: A contraflow system will be in place with lane closures 24 hours a day while resurfacing work takes place. The scheme is due to be completed by October.

Changes can be made subject to weather conditions. Real-time traffic information on motorways and major A roads can be seen on the Highways England website.

Planned roadworks lead to lane closures around Cumbria

Roadworks across Cumbria have been planned from the month of July 2017 Credit: Highways England

A number of roadworks have been planned to start in the month of July, leading to a number of lane closures on motorways and A-roads, leading to potential disruption.

The planned road works include:

  • The M6 southbound between junctions J38 and J37. Lane three is closed. Disruption could be expected until 11pm on 10 July 2017.
  • The A66 eastbound between the junctions with the A685 and the A1, and A66 westbound between the junctions with the A1 and the A685. Roadworks will take place from 8.03pm on 3 July 2017 to 6am on 21 September 2017.
  • The A66 westbound between the junctions with the A591 north of Keswick and the A5086. Lane two is closed. Disruption could be expected until 11.59pm on 31 July 2017.
  • The A590 eastbound between the junctions with the A595 and the A5087 west of Ulverston. Lane one will be closed. Expect disruption everyday between 8pm and 6am from 14 August 2017 to 19 August 2017.

Roadworks may change at short notice due to weather.


Highways England defend A591 repairs timetable

Highways England has begun work to rebuild a damaged section of the A591, at Dunmail Raise.

Parts of the road collapsed during the floods of December 2015.

Our reporter Katie Hunter spoke to Andy Withington, of Highways England:

This is the start of the repair of the A591 at Dunmail Raise. We're working on building the foundations for a retaining wall, which will be adjacent to the watercourse, and then we'll be back for filling to get the road reestablished in the next few months.

– Andy Withington, Highways England

Many local people and businesses who have relied on the road, have complained that repairs for damage that happened in December 2015, have taken too long to get underway.

ITV Border reporter Katie Hunter put these concerns to Andy Withington:

We've been working with Cumbria County Council since January, so that's only five weeks. We've managed to get a contractor here over the last few weeks and we've started works today on the actual construction.

We've been working with designers to ensure the designs are appropriate, permanent repair, and we've got three months to effectively build and reinstate 120 metres of road - so that's quite a challenge, and a short time to build it in."

– Andy Withington, Highways England

Government pledges £40m to help rebuild flood damaged roads

The government has announced it will release £40m to help communities recovering from floods by rebuilding damaged roads.

Highways England will start design and construction work to repair the A591, and investigate what is required to restore Pooley Bridge and Eamont Bridge, in Cumbria, in the New Year.

Damaged section of the A591 near Thirlmere Credit: ITV Border

“We understand the difficulties of people trying to travel in an area hit by flooding and we are doing everything we can to help Cumbria.

“On behalf of Cumbria County Council we and our supply chain partners will be working to rebuild the damaged section of the A591 as soon as possible so it is safe for road users, and to investigate what we can do to repair the A6 Eamont Bridge and the B5320 Pooley Bridge; this will allow the council to concentrate on other priorities to help its residents.”

– Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England
Damaged section of the A591 at Dunmail Raise Credit: ITV Border

The new funding package is in addition to the £6.1 billion the government has committed to local authorities across England to help maintain the condition of local roads, between now and 2021.