“A VERY, very sad day”.
That is how road safety campaigners have described the death of Jade Clark.
Now they have pledged to continue in their efforts to reduce the speed limit on the A31.
Ringwood Town Council member and campaigner Michael Thierry, pictured, wants Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to visit the town to see its “desperate” road situation for himself.
The Daily Echo reported on Saturday, a day before the fatal accident, that the town council has been pressing the Highways Agency to introduce new safety measures, including the reduction of the speed limit of the A31 between Picket Post and the Ashley Heath roundabout to 50mph.
But the agency has said not enough motorists have been injured to justify a speed reduction.
The council will discuss the agency’s response at its meeting tomorrow, and may now go straight to the Department for Transport in a bid to get Mr McLoughlin to visit the town.
Cllr Thierry said: “This is a very, very sad day for the town, and it’s a tragic day for Jade’s family.
“I feel distraught for them. At 8pm that young girl expected to get to where she was going safely, and now her family has been devastated and their lives will never be the same.
“They will never be able to go past that spot without being reminded of what has happened there.
“The Highways Agency needs to stop this box-ticking exercise and see that if local people are saying something needs to be done, then they should listen.
“The town is breaking its heart over this, something needs to be done. It is something they can do quickly, it won’t cost a lot of money to reduce the limit to 50mph and the town council has even offered to pay for the signs.
“We have to continue to campaign for better safety measures. We can’t let it fizzle out.”
Andy Brown, from the Avon Angling Centre in West Street, added: “The A31 is a dangerous road and it needs improving."