I’m saddened by reading reports of yet more animals being killed on the New Forest roads. It seems that every week there is another poor animal hit by a vehicle and killed in the most horrific way.

I have worked in the New Forest for 11 years now and every winter it’s the same. Driving home in the dark is so difficult when you’re constantly blinded by oncoming traffic. It’s a common occurrence to suddenly see a pony or a donkey in front of you. Using the Forest roads on a regular basis means that I am relatively wise to it and drive to road and visibility conditions but how many others don’t? I can see why people want the speed limits to be lowered but even if you lower the speed limits to 20mph some people are still going to speed.

I regularly see speed camera vans during daylight hours around the Forest roads but very rarely see them at night when the majority of these accidents occur. This is probably because few people speed at night due to poor visibility so the police won’t make much money from having a camera van parked up at night.

The simple fact is that there are more and more cars on the Forest roads now and you will always have some people that break the speed limit. This combined with poor visibility means that animals will get hit by cars. Surely it’s time to stop these animals roaming the roads in the winter months? I know it’s commoners rights but times have changed and its time to change with them. In all the article’s about the animals deaths, nowhere have I read the real reasons why the animals are there. It’s plain and simple. The owners of these animals are paid by the New Forest for letting their animals graze in the forest. It’s ridiculous in this day and age to pay people to let their livestock roam the roads. I’m always hearing of how sad people are to have lost their pony or donkey due to a collision but if they really loved and cared for their animals surely they would keep them safe? I know of farmers in the Forest that have acres of land where they could keep their animals safely away from traffic but they still let them roam the roads at night!

Someone please do something and change the law so animals are kept off the roads in the winter months so we can stop the carnage!

Chris Barrett