‘Near-miss’ accidents revealed in survey by village road safety campaigners

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Rashmi Stacey (second left) and Cllr Hilary Brand (third left) with campaigners at Goose Green where residents have reported a number of near-misses

A SURVEY conducted by concerned Lyndhurst residents has highlighted worrying traffic issues including a string of near-misses in one part of the village.

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Rashmi Stacey teamed up with other locals to create the Campaign for Road Safety group, which sent out questionnaires to more than 300 homes to determine what impact the traffic system was having on those living near to and using Goose Green.

The survey revealed that 57% of respondents with children had experienced a “near-miss” accident on the road, while 46% of elderly residents had too.

Over 80% said they felt fear and anxiety when crossing the 30mph road and 25% preferred to use their car instead of walking, to avoid risk.

Dr Stacey presented the group’s findings to Lyndhurst Parish Council at its recent meeting, and also highlighted a previous study by Community Speedwatch volunteers, which had shown 56% of cars exceeded the limit in Goose Green.

Speaking to the A&T, she explained the issue was particularly affecting youngsters, who had to be accompanied to the school bus stop, and the elderly.

“It’s ludicrous that these children have to be escorted everywhere,” she said. “And the effect on the elderly is horrific. They are frightened to go out and some described feeling like prisoners in their own homes.”

She explained that most of the respondents who had experienced near misses felt the high speed of drivers and the road’s blind corner were the main issues.

“The object of the study was not to propose solutions, though respondents have presented various options which have been duly put forward for consideration by the county council.

“Most want to see the enforcement of the speed limit, followed by a traffic light or pelican crossing.”

Cllr Hilary Brand, who represents Lyndhurst on the district council, told the A&T she had met with an officer from Hampshire County Council, which is responsible for traffic management.

“The officer has agreed to support us in providing extra signage on Gosport Lane, with on the road signage stating ‘SLOW’,” she said. “She did also mention that they are looking to carry out a study in September re the issues with Goose Green.”

Cllr Brand was shocked to learn that the cost of installing a zebra crossing would be around £150,000, and the road had to meet strict criteria to qualify, while a roundabout would be approximately £1m.

She added: “I believe that achieving any change to the roads will be an uphill battle when money is scarce, and it appears you need to suffer a major accident for a change to be made. I will continue to press on with these issues with NFDC and HCC.”

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