Drivers are being asked to cut their speed along a section of the A66 Appleby bypass in Cumbria after one was clocked doing 74 mph through roadworks with a temporary 30mph limit.
Highways England is repairing a bridge at the eastern end of the bypass and is urging drivers to stick to the temporary speed limit with excavations as deep as ten centimetres in places.
The bridge repairs started in April. They are part of a wider project which includes resurfacing the whole of the bypass between June and November and keeping a lane open in each direction using a 40mph speed limit. The current arrangements include slowing drivers down to 50mph ahead of the bridge and then down to 30mph for a short, 1200 metre section, past the roadworks.
Cumbria Police, which is enforcing the speed limit, has also recorded a driver reaching 83mph through the temporary 50mph section and issued 38 speeding notices in a week.
Highways England project manager Nichola Capstick said:
“Most of the work is taking place at night so the speed limit is simply there to ensure drivers can get past the roadworks safely during the day. We’ve had to remove a safety barrier to get access to the bridge deck and we have excavations more than ten centimetres deep. Imagine the consequences of hitting a hole that size at 74 mph – it could be catastrophic. People are speeding past the roadworks just to save a few seconds. We’re urging drivers to slow down.”
Sergeant Lee Hill from the Cumbria Police Mobile Support Group said:
“I am disappointed with the number of motorists exceeding the speed limits and at some of the excessive speeds we’ve been seeing.
“Officers have recorded speeds of 74mph within the 30mph restriction and also 83mph in the 50mph restriction. The driver who went through the 30mph limit at 74mph will have to attend court as a consequence of their actions. Motorists who are exceeding the posted speed limit are placing everyone’s safety at risk.”