3rd March 2022
The home town and identity of one of the people who died in the crash on the northbound M6, just south of Penrith have come to light. He was a 51 year-old from Rochdale- in Greater Manchester! Even though, traditionally, Rochdalians consider their town to be Lancastrian, as Rochdale was historically in Lancashire, this illustrates that Cumbrian happenings can impact much of North West England. Details of this latest development are here: https://www.itv.com/news/border/2022-03-03/one-man-identified-from-fatal-m6-crash.
I did discuss this fatal crash on the M6 in Cumbria the other day, 28th February (read this here: https://northwestisnorthwest.org/2022/03/01/one-fatal-road-traffic-accident-on-northbound-m6-in-cumbria-not-a-peep-from-bbc1-north-west-or-itv1-granada-reports/). And in that article I made the observation that serious crashes on the M6 in Cumbria, or the M6 being shut in Cumbria- particularly on the stretch that is south of Penrith is something that is very likely to impact on folk living in North West England rather than North East England. I also pointed out that if folk living in Lancashire, or even in Greater Manchester are impacted by a Cumbrian motorway tragedy (or a fell-walking tragedy), and they find out that this has happened but was not reported on the Regional News that they would have cause to be mightily annoyed!
And so it has proved: What are the friends and family of the 51 year-old from Rochdale killed on the M6 in Cumbria likely to be going through? They will be suffering from great grief, for sure, possibly compounded by BBC1 North West Tonight‘s failure to cover Cumbria. This grieving family might think “Is not Cumbria in the North West? Just why did North West Tonight not cover this tragic accident affecting another family in the North West? We had a right to know about this!”. These are sentiments I can totally understand, and I extend my deepest sympathies to the grieving family and the wider community in Rochdale who were affected by this M6 tragedy.
If something serious happens on a major road or motorway through North West England- anywhere in the North West of England- it should be reported on the North West Regional TV News- services: And a serious smash-up on the M6 in Cumbria- leading to multiple fatalities and also the closure of the M6 in the area (until wreckage is cleared) is something of such gravity, liable to affect enough folk living in North West England (outside of Cumbria as well as from within Cumbria) that it should be reported on. That is, at a minimum for Regional TV’s Public service requirement!
Both ITV1 Granada Reports and BBC1 North West Tonight did briefly mention a later crash on the M6 in South Cumbria (details here: https://twitter.com/HighwaysNWEST/status/1498912649345703940). That involved a collision between a van and a lorry early on 2nd March 2022 and it involved no fatalities. It was a little further south than the fatal accident on 28th February, and possibly both broadcasters had received some criticism for the non- coverage of the earlier (fatal) M6 crash- and therefore felt compeled to at least mention the South Cumbrian M6 crash.
However, the M6 is the main north- south motorway through North West England, connecting the entire Region to Scotland in the north and the English Midlands- and M1 to London- in the south: Any fatal accident that leaves that part of the M6 shut will affect people living in North West England- thus any major M6 incident from just north of Birmingham right up to the Scottish Border should be covered by BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports as a matter of course. Ditto, if anything serious happened on the West Coast Main Line, or bad weather closes major roads. It is fairly fundamental that that kind of stuff gets reported on!
Serious accidents on the M6 in Cumbria can devastate a family from Greater Manchester just as bad weather on the Lakeland Fells can mean tradegy for a Lancastrian family: Coverage of Cumbria in Regional News- bulletins means a lot more complete coverage of the Region that has benefits for the wider North West of England, not just Cumbria.