Four in 10 cars speeding on quiet roads during lockdown in Greater Manchester

By Kim Pilling, PA

About four in 10 cars on the roads in Greater Manchester are taking advantage of quieter conditions during the coronavirus lockdown by exceeding the speed limit, Andy Burnham has said.

The region’s mayor said figures show an expected large decrease in the number of vehicles on the roads, but the number of speeding motorists has doubled.

In his weekly press briefing, Mr Burnham said: “That would be more worrying in any event but it’s particular worrying when more families are out and about taking walks and there are people running and cycling. There are just more people on our pavements.

“Greater Manchester Police will be targeting hotspots where speeding is happening.”

Last week, two other police forces said they had seen an increase in speeding and warned motorists not to drive irresponsibly during the travel restrictions.

North Wales Police caught a driver travelling at 113mph on the A55 at Northop and another at 101mph on the A5 near Corwen, while North Yorkshire Police said a BMW was clocked travelling at 132mph on the A168 at Asenby, near Thirsk.

Keir Gallagher, Cycling UK’s campaigns manager, said: “Dangerous or careless driving is never acceptable, but during the current crisis speeding risks lives and puts even more pressure on the emergency services and the NHS.

“Drivers should think carefully about the safety of others and remember that many people are walking and cycling to get their daily exercise. When overtaking cyclists, remember to give at least 1.5m space.”