One of the men who died in the Cumbria M6 crash was from Rochdale

3rd March 2022

Dear Readers

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:

I did discuss this fatal crash on the M6 in Cumbria the other day, 28th February (read this here: 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: 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.

Published by northwestisnorthwest

My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. . A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! . People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England! In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! . North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. . Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). . In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.

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