COMMUNITY leaders in south Cumbria have called for a greater roads police presence along major routes in the area.

‘Boy racers’ along the A590 were highlighted as one problem that could be tackled by a higher number of officers.

The calls come ahead of a roads policing system review that will reportedly be launched by the Home Office and the Department for Transport under plans to tackle dangerous driving and curb the number of deaths and serious casualties related to crashes.

The two departments are set to soon publish a ‘call for evidence’ on the future of the system, following the publication of a report by road safety experts this month that argued for a greater presence of roads police.

Cllr Matt Brereton, who represents the High Furness area, said: "Greater police numbers are always welcome - but they need to be up-to-date with new measures.

“More police on the roads, more proactive policing and unmarked vehicles tend to work well.

“I think the A595 from Barrow up along the West Coast would be another route that would benefit from greater police numbers and visibility - I think it’s one of several routes in south Cumbria that have been overlooked.

“We should be engaging more with major employers on this issue too.”

Barrow MP Simon Fell said he supported calls for more roads police and a crackdown on dangerous driving along the A590 in particular.

“I want to see a [greater] emphasis on speeding and bad driving,” he told The Mail.

“I’ve held a number of community events and surgeries and this keeps popping up as an issue - boy racer speeding out of Ulverston on the A590 and through Cross-a-Moor. It’s time to stamp down on it for everyone’s safety.”

On broader measures to curb dangerous driving in the area, Cllr Brereton said: 

"Every time we have a conversation about this issue, there's a big focus on driver behaviour.

"But the main thing is that all these measures are almost useless if we can't enforce them. 

"People often talk about speed cameras. But I think we can mainly agree they're of little value, since everyone gets to know where they are after a while.

"Mobile speed cameras are a little more use, but unmarked vehicles tend to work the best in my opinion.

"Most people don't deliberately drive badly - it's down to a lack of education, mainly.

"I think we've seen just how proactive the roads police can be, in particular during the lockdown.

"I think the A590 and M6 are relatively well-policed - the idea the 590 is just lawless is a bit of a fallacy, really.

"So I think proactive enforcement is the main thing - we don't need a slew of new speed cameras or loads more police officers.

"Having a couple of locally-based officers in Broughton-in-Furness would be of great benefit to this area, I think. Having someone embedded in the community could have a real impact."