Changes have been called for along a "fast road" after a man was struck and killed by a car on his walk home from a night out.

Daniel Bancroft, 37, died on May 24 2019 after being hit on the A66 by a car driven to the speed limit by an off-duty police officer.

The father-of-three, an ex serviceman, was walking home from a night out along the Stainburn Bypass in Workington when the accident happened.

During an inquest on September 29, 2020, it was found that Daniel died as a result of a road traffic collision, with the medical cause of death being severe injuries.

Simon Ward, assistant coroner for the coroner area of Cumbria, has since made a report calling for the Chief Executive of Highways England and Cumbria County Council's Highways Department to make a number of changes to the A66.

Mr Bancroft, from Cockermouth, was "happily married" and a father of three.

He had been for a night out socialising in Workington, the coroner's report stated, and had become extremely intoxicated.

During the early hours of the morning on Sunday, May 19, 2019, Mr Bancroft began walking home to Cockermouth - a distance of nine miles east of Workington.

The A66

Evidence suggested this was something he had done before, Mr Ward recorded.

As he walked along the A66 Stainburn Bypass trunk road at around 3.36am, he was struck by a vehicle being driven on the eastbound carriageway by an off duty special constable. He died as a result of his injuries.

The police officer told the inquest that he had picked up three pedestrians on previous occasions along this stretch of the "fast road" where the accident occurred, in very similar circumstances.

The lack of lighting was "a massive factor", the officer told the inquest, and that it "needs lighting there definitely, it's so dark."

Within the collision investigator's report, it was stated that the accident occurred adjacent to the Workington Academy.

It added that the road has a speed limit of 60mph - the same speed the car was driving at.

It said: "The accident occurred on the A66 just east of the roundabout adjacent to the Workington Academy.

"The eastbound carriageway has two lanes at this point with a speed limit of 60mph. The westbound has one lane. There is limited lighting from the roundabout to the national speed limit sign on the bypass.

"Mr Bancroft was struck on the nearside of the eastbound lane at 3.36am. The car was travelling at about 60mph (26.82 m/s). The distance the driver would have first seen Mr Bancrost was 19.45-22.45m if the driver were not looking for, nor expecting to see a pedestrian.

"The shortest stopping distance would be 48m an emergency stop. There are no pedestrian facilities on this road.

"There have been three pedestrian facilities on this stretch of road, all in the early hours, all in the dark and whilst the deceased has been drunk.

"There has also been a non-fatal collision with a pedestrian, again in the early hours."

In his report, the coroner raised a number of concerns, highlighting the risk of further deaths on the A66.

These included the lack of discouragement for pedestrians to walk on the road, the speed of traffic, and the lack of lighting.

Simon Ward said: "During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless actin is taken. In the circumstances it is my statutory duty to report to you.

"The matters of concern are as follows: There is nothing to discourage pedestrians from walking along the A66 e.g. signage.

"Cars are rapidly accelerating from the well-lit roundabout at Stainburn onto an unlit section of the A66 as the national speed limit sign is very close to the roundabout.

"The speed of traffic on this initial stretch of the A66.

"The lack of lighting on this initial stretch of the A66."

Highlighting the action that should be taken, Mr Ward added: "In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you and/or your organisation have the power to take such action."

Both Highways England and Cumbria County Council have a duty to respond within 56 days of this report.

Their response must contain details of action taken or proposed to be taken, setting out a timetable for action. Otherwise they must explain why no action is proposed.

Highways England has said that the A66 is not built for pedestrians to use and that it meets all the required standards in terms of lighting and speed limits.

However, it will increase measures to deter people from walking along the bypass by introducing signing and a legal ban on pedestrians using the bypass, in the aim to encourage people to use the Stainburn Road route instead.

It also said that the road has barriers at the junction to direct pedestrians and vulnerable road users along the line of the original route, Stainburn Road, away from the bypass.

A spokesman for Highways England said: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragic incident. We routinely monitor and review the safety of our roads and have already carefully considered the coroner’s remarks in relation to the A66 Stainburn bypass between Cockermouth and Workington.

“We will increase our measures to deter people from walking along the bypass by introducing signing and a legal ban on pedestrians using the bypass. We hope these measures will encourage people to use the Stainburn Road route instead.”

Cumbria County Council has confirmed to LancsLive that they do not have responsibility for the A66, as it is managed and maintained by Highways England, however the council fully supports road safety improvements.

The council confirmed that Highways England is holding a significant public consultation on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project which benefits from government investment on how road safety can be improved along the highway.

The council confirmed it supports any project to improve road safety.


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