A coroner has warned that there is a risk of more deaths on an unlit stretch of the A66 in Cumbria, after a motorist died when he struck an HGV at 75mph.

Craig Smith, assistant coroner, has written to National Highways and Cumbria County Council urging them to take action after Stephen Cloudsdale collided with a lorry attempting to turn right onto the westbound carriageway opposite the Stainmore Café.

Accident investigators found there is no lighting on the stretch of dual carriageway where the collision occurred and there is no signage warning of the dangers of large goods vehicles crossing the eastbound carriageway.

Due to these factors and the adverse weather conditions at the time of the accident in November 2019, it was estimated that Cloudsdale would only have had 0.96 seconds to react to the presence of the rear of the lorry sticking out of the central reservation.

The driver sustained non-survivable traumatic head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In his report, Smith said: “The café is frequently used by HGV drivers, and the central reservation will be used by the drivers of such vehicles upon exiting the carpark in order to enter the westbound carriageway.

“The café does not remain open 24 hours a day and the premises are unlit after the daily close of business.

“During the course of the inquest, the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern.

“In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

Smith said the lack of lighting, lack of signage, speed of traffic and the width of the central reservation to accommodate HGVs all needed to be addressed.

National Highways and Cumbria County Council are under a duty to respond within 56 days.