Drivers caught speeding in Forest animal accident blackspot

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The New Forest Roads Campaign's speed watch device on the side of the road on the B3078 on Roger Penny Way
The community speed watch team has been monitoring the B3078 Roger Penny Way

A TOTAL of 44 motorists were caught in just one hour speeding on the New Forest’s worst road for animal accidents.

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One motorcyclist was clocked doing 61mph in the 40 zone when members of the New Forest Roads Campaign community speed watch team monitored traffic on the B3078 Roger Penny Way – between Bramshaw and Fordingbridge – from 6.30pm until 7.30pm on 14th June.

Assisted by Hampshire police, the volunteers set up their speed detection device on high-risk routes in the national park to remind road users of the limit.

The scheme is primarily for the education of drivers, which means they cannot issue speeding tickets but motorists caught at excessive speeds can receive warning letters from the police.

New Forest Roads Campaign member and commoner Gilly Jones said: “These figures show that some people have a total disregard for the speed limit, and one can only assume that they also have no consideration for the Forest’s livestock.

“Speed watch is very much a Marmite exercise, supported by many but considered by some a job done by do-gooders with nothing better to do.

“Our view is: if we can get out on the side of the road at key rush-hour times, we can continue to carry out our work reminding people of the speed limit.”

Ms Jones added: “Speed is not the only reason for animal accidents, but we need to make sure people know that the limit is there for a reason.”

Dr Tony Hockley, chairman of the Commoners’ Defence Association, said: “The CDA lobbied for a long time to allow community speed watch to operate on the 40mph routes across the grazed Forest.

“They do a really important job in reminding people that the grazing animals matter and make the New Forest a very special place; a little less speed can make a big difference for the Forest but add just a few minutes to a journey.

The New Forest Roads Campaign has been given the go-ahead to operate its speed watch device on the B3054 near Beaulieu Aerodrome, and is looking for people who can spare a few hours a month to help at the new location, as well as on the B3078.

Dr Hockley added: “Every little helps. We will continue to urge commoners to volunteer for their local speed watch groups.

“Even a commitment of just one hour a month can make it possible for a group to take up the new opportunities made possible by Hampshire police.”

Those interested in helping with a local speed watch should type New Forest Roads Campaign into the search bar on Facebook and send the group a private message.

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