DRIVERS' average speeds in the county have been going up, new figures show – with vehicles on the A590 rising from 33.3 mph to 34.2 mph in 2020.

Department for Transport data shows cars and light vans travelled at an average speed of 33.4 mph on ‘A’ roads in Cumbria last year. That was up from 32 mph in 2019 – a rise of four per cent.

The A5074 saw the biggest rise in speeds, up 37 per cent to 30.9 mph, followed by the A69, up 34 per cent to 19.1mph.

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall believes drivers have been taking advantage of there being fewer vehicles on the road during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “It is not a surprise during lockdown that patterns of traffic and driving changed. Obviously, there were far fewer cars on the road and police obviously focused on enforcing Covid restrictions, but we did see more stops on the road during that time.

"In normal traffic, the more cars means it is more likely that you are to be held up in traffic. I am sure it was just because of minimal traffic. I’m not really surprised with the A590 figures, it will probably be down to the smaller volume of traffic on the road. We know it is a problematic road and I constantly get complaints about it.

“My personal view is average speed cameras is something that we should look at around the county because I think they probably have more effect than the odd speed camera.

"We need to all remember what the speed limits and adhere to them. The best enforcement is what we impose on ourselves and stick to the speed limits.”