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Campaign backing for new safety measures on A31 after fatal crash
URGENT action is needed before someone else loses their life on the A31 through the New Forest, it was claimed last night.
District councillors debated the safety record of the busy commuter route and urged the Highways Agency to reduce the carnage.
It follows the death last week of Ross Lipsett, 53, of Ringwood, who was killed when his car crashed into a lorry parked in a lay-by at Poulner Hill.
Ringwood Town Council had already launched a campaign for improvements to the A31 between Picket Post and the Ashley Heath junction.
More than 1,000 people have signed a council-led petition supporting calls for a wide range of measures.
These include cutting the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph, creating a crawler lane for eastbound lorries and installing signs advising drivers to get into the correct lane earlier.
A motion supporting the campaign gained crossparty support at last night’s meeting of the district council.
Councillor Michael Thierry, who represents Ringwood, claimed that the Highways Agency had “neglected” the A31.
“For some reason unbeknown to me the agency thinks it’s quite safe to drive down Poulner Hill at 70mph plus. That’s manifestly not the case,” he said.
“The A31 has seen accident after accident and some have been fatal. This is a lethal stretch of road.
“We want the Highways Agency to come to Ringwood so we can tell them face to face how we feel about this road.
“There are things they could do if they are minded to do so.
“If the agency were an elected body, something would already have been done.”
Councillor Maureen Robinson, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats opposition group, added: “That particular road is one that everyone uses. In many ways it’s the lifeblood of the Forest and it’s very important that it’s safe.”