Drivers urged to take extra care in Forest as animal deaths rise

The aftermath of last week's fatal accident on the A31.

The aftermath of last week's fatal accident on the A31.

First published in New Forest Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

DRIVERS in the New Forest are being urged to take extra care after a sharp rise in the number of animal accidents.

A total of 181 collisions involving Forest stock occurred last year, compared with 135 in the previous 12 months.

The figures can be revealed just days after a runaway pony caused a fatal accident on the A31.

Motorcyclist Daniel Robins, 31, of Bournemouth, was one of two bikers who collided with the animal at Picket Post last Wednesday.

Mr Robins, a former pupil of Hardley School, Holbury, was fatally injured. The other biker, a 47-year-old Broadstone man, was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Police investigating the accident closed the westbound carriageway, stranding hundreds of drivers in their cars for seven hours.

A total of 104 animals were killed or injured in the Forest last year – 22 more than in 2012.

Many of the collisions took place on the B3078 between Brook and Godshill and the B3054 from Lymington to Dibden Purlieu.

Other animal accident “black spots” included the C10 from Picket Post to Holmsley and the B3055 between Brockenhurst and Sway.

Sue Westwood, clerk to the Verderers, said: “The accidents were spread across the Forest as usual, but some roads saw significantly more accidents than others.

“Once again the worst two roads were the B3078 and the B3054, both of which are used by commuters.

“The C10 from Picket Post to Holmsley is also a bad road and is doubtless also a commuter route.

“We think drivers fail to adjust their speed when leaving the A31. Going the other way they probably increase their speed along the former railway line and fail to slow down once they cross the cattle grid and start to go up the hill towards Burley.”

Miss Westwood said this year had already seen four accidents in which a cow was killed outright and three ponies had to be put down.

She added: “Our message to drivers in 2014 has to be please slow down, particularly at night when it’s difficult to see animals in the road.

“Even if you don’t care about the animals, think how much damage will be caused to your vehicle if you collide with 400kg of pony or half a ton of cow.”

Last year the Verderers released a photograph of a badly-damaged vehicle in a bid to persuade drivers to take more care.

They said the occupants of the Volkswagen Touareg were lucky not to have been killed or seriously injured in the accident in which a pony died.

Figures for 2013 show that a total of 72 animals died on Forest roads compared with 64 the previous year. Last year also saw 33 hit-and-run accidents – nine more than in 2012.

Miss Westwood said: “If you hit an animal, report it quickly. Have a little compassion and don’t leave something to die in a ditch.”

Comments (9)

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11:42am Tue 28 Jan 14

R1Dan. says...

That is a bit Sick is it not it Echo? Using a pic of an accident where someone died on a road that does not have animals roaming free?

Very Sick in fact to try and create a story of animals getting hit in the forest when that picture is not from an area where animals roam free.

Have some respect.
That is a bit Sick is it not it Echo? Using a pic of an accident where someone died on a road that does not have animals roaming free? Very Sick in fact to try and create a story of animals getting hit in the forest when that picture is not from an area where animals roam free. Have some respect. R1Dan.
  • Score: 5

1:00pm Tue 28 Jan 14

newsknight says...

R1Dan. wrote:
That is a bit Sick is it not it Echo? Using a pic of an accident where someone died on a road that does not have animals roaming free? Very Sick in fact to try and create a story of animals getting hit in the forest when that picture is not from an area where animals roam free. Have some respect.
Completely agree, and also hope the Highways Agency has secured the fence these ponies escaped through?

There are too many ponies on the forest and sadly they wander near the roads as some people stop their cars and feed them - they don't stay away from the roads as they are drawn closer in search of food in winter...! If they were truly wild their instinct would be to flee from the noise/lights, but somebody owns these ponies and if they valued them they would not leave so many numbers roaming as is the case currently ... even if they do have 'grazing rights' :-(
[quote][p][bold]R1Dan.[/bold] wrote: That is a bit Sick is it not it Echo? Using a pic of an accident where someone died on a road that does not have animals roaming free? Very Sick in fact to try and create a story of animals getting hit in the forest when that picture is not from an area where animals roam free. Have some respect.[/p][/quote]Completely agree, and also hope the Highways Agency has secured the fence these ponies escaped through? There are too many ponies on the forest and sadly they wander near the roads as some people stop their cars and feed them - they don't stay away from the roads as they are drawn closer in search of food in winter...! If they were truly wild their instinct would be to flee from the noise/lights, but somebody owns these ponies and if they valued them they would not leave so many numbers roaming as is the case currently ... even if they do have 'grazing rights' :-( newsknight
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Mary80 says...

There should be fines who those who feed the ponies as clearly you aren't meant to as it makes them come near humans when they want food which then creates the problem of cars hitting them
There should be fines who those who feed the ponies as clearly you aren't meant to as it makes them come near humans when they want food which then creates the problem of cars hitting them Mary80
  • Score: 2

3:09pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Powegian says...

Just another problem caused by too many people crammed into our small island and careless motorists looking for short cuts across the forest.
No one probably believes it but there was a point in time when the fence on the A31 didn't exist...
Just another problem caused by too many people crammed into our small island and careless motorists looking for short cuts across the forest. No one probably believes it but there was a point in time when the fence on the A31 didn't exist... Powegian
  • Score: 4

6:34pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Torchie1 says...

Powegian wrote:
Just another problem caused by too many people crammed into our small island and careless motorists looking for short cuts across the forest.
No one probably believes it but there was a point in time when the fence on the A31 didn't exist...
Prior to 1964 the A31 wasn't fenced and after that work the animal deaths fell by around one hundred a year. After 1973 the numbers fell again when the A35 and the A337 were fenced which is the way forward on the B3058 and the B3054 because the reduced speed limits have had limited success and the statistics are not improving.
[quote][p][bold]Powegian[/bold] wrote: Just another problem caused by too many people crammed into our small island and careless motorists looking for short cuts across the forest. No one probably believes it but there was a point in time when the fence on the A31 didn't exist...[/p][/quote]Prior to 1964 the A31 wasn't fenced and after that work the animal deaths fell by around one hundred a year. After 1973 the numbers fell again when the A35 and the A337 were fenced which is the way forward on the B3058 and the B3054 because the reduced speed limits have had limited success and the statistics are not improving. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Tue 28 Jan 14

forest tony says...

Fencing the roads is not the answer,while more and more of our Forest roads become pot holed, surely the answer now is just return our roads to gravel tracks....byways this will not only reduce the speed of cars, save our Forest animals but save millions on patching of tarmac, that afterall only lasts a few months, this is a serious comment, one that really needs to be taken on board by all concerned!
Fencing the roads is not the answer,while more and more of our Forest roads become pot holed, surely the answer now is just return our roads to gravel tracks....byways this will not only reduce the speed of cars, save our Forest animals but save millions on patching of tarmac, that afterall only lasts a few months, this is a serious comment, one that really needs to be taken on board by all concerned! forest tony
  • Score: -3

1:57am Wed 29 Jan 14

andoru says...

Mary80 wrote:
There should be fines who those who feed the ponies as clearly you aren't meant to as it makes them come near humans when they want food which then creates the problem of cars hitting them
Yes and no. Most ponies are near the roads because they eat the grass on the verge, not because of food that people are giving them.
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: There should be fines who those who feed the ponies as clearly you aren't meant to as it makes them come near humans when they want food which then creates the problem of cars hitting them[/p][/quote]Yes and no. Most ponies are near the roads because they eat the grass on the verge, not because of food that people are giving them. andoru
  • Score: 4

1:35pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Franks Tank says...

I would be interesting to see a breakdown of where these drivers live.
My guess would be that the majority live in the forest.
I would be interesting to see a breakdown of where these drivers live. My guess would be that the majority live in the forest. Franks Tank
  • Score: 1

1:39pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Franks Tank says...

forest tony wrote:
Fencing the roads is not the answer,while more and more of our Forest roads become pot holed, surely the answer now is just return our roads to gravel tracks....byways this will not only reduce the speed of cars, save our Forest animals but save millions on patching of tarmac, that afterall only lasts a few months, this is a serious comment, one that really needs to be taken on board by all concerned!
There seems to be a percentage of people in the forest that think they live in some sort of medieval bucolic idle.
Perhaps we should relieve them of their electricity and double glazing as well.
[quote][p][bold]forest tony[/bold] wrote: Fencing the roads is not the answer,while more and more of our Forest roads become pot holed, surely the answer now is just return our roads to gravel tracks....byways this will not only reduce the speed of cars, save our Forest animals but save millions on patching of tarmac, that afterall only lasts a few months, this is a serious comment, one that really needs to be taken on board by all concerned![/p][/quote]There seems to be a percentage of people in the forest that think they live in some sort of medieval bucolic idle. Perhaps we should relieve them of their electricity and double glazing as well. Franks Tank
  • Score: -1

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