New Forest councillors
were today
set to discuss calls
for action to make
one of Hampshire’s
busiest roads safer.
Ringwood Town Council
was taking a motion to
New Forest District
Council’s full council
meeting urging members
to support their quest for
“vital” improvements on
the A31.
Highways Agency chiefs
are being asked to tackle
the “appalling” accident
rate on the road, made
even more poignant following
the death of 53-
year-old Ringwood man
Ross Lipsett last Tuesday.
He died when his BMW
crashed into a stationary
lorry parked in a lay-by on
Poulner Hill.
The motion, presented
by all four district councillors
– Steve Rippon-
Swaine, Christine Ford,
Michael Thierry and
Barbara Woodifield – says
the town council has deep
concerns about the number
of accidents on the
A31 from Picket Post to
Ashley Heath roundabout.
It urges the Highways
Agency to review, in consultation
with Ringwood
Town Council, measures
to improve the road.
Cllr Thierry said: “This
is a campaign that has
been going for nearly four
years, but has really started
to get moving now.
“The A31 has a dismal
and appalling accident
rate and we need to do
something about it.
“There are a number of
issues that need to be
looked at including the
bus stops along the road
that aren’t used, the speed
limit and the lack of
appropriate signage.
“What we don’t want to
happen is for them to look
at it and then just send us
a letter. We want to get
around a table and explain
the problems face-to-face
and seek solutions from
them. We believe the road
has been neglected by the
Highways Agency and the
time is well overdue for
them to come and take a
look at it.”
More than 1,000 people
signed a petition calling
for the proposed improvements
which include
reducing the speed limit
from 70mph to 50mph,
creating a crawler lane
eastbound and better
signs advising drivers to
get into the right lane earlier.
A spokesman for the
Highways Agency said:
“We are very happy to talk
to local councillors at any
time about their concerns.”