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Speed camera campaigners buoyed after New Forest District Council and Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones order B3078 Roger Penny Way feasibility study

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CAMPAIGNERS wanting average speed cameras at a notorious black spot have been buoyed after a feasibility study was ordered.

Commoners Gilly Jones and Sarah Weston appeared before the latest full meeting of New Forest District Council on Monday night, where councillors and Hampshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) Donna Jones agreed to the study along the B3078 Roger Penny Way.

Sarah presented a petition for cameras signed by more than 63,000 people, while Gilly handed in another signed by 3,557, all confirmed to live within the district boundary.

Police on the B3078 Roger Penny Way
Police on the B3078 Roger Penny Way

As reported in the A&T, Sarah was a practising commoner but chose to give up after her pony, Juma, suffered horrific, fatal injuries in a collision with a car earlier this year on the B3078.

She has since pushed vocally for something to be done to reduce accident rates, but there has been disagreement between authorities as to which of them should fund cameras on the route.

Gilly is also a practising commoner, spokesperson for social media group New Forest Roads Awareness and member of the Animal Accident Reduction Group. She works with Hampshire Police carrying out regular Community Speed Watch operations on the B3078.

In her presentment Gilly stressed the utter "devastation" fatal collisions have on the animals, commoners who own them, the drivers involved and agisters who dispose of the animal.

Roger Penny Way has been the "worst road for animal road deaths" for some time, she stressed, noting it was responsible for 30% of the 2020 total animal deaths in the district. She also highlighted how cameras are the "least invasive form of traffic management".

The petitions were backed by a huge majority of NFDC members and afterwards leader Cllr Edward Heron announced it will now work with PCC Jones and Hampshire County Council, as the highways authority, on the study.

Edward Heron, Donna Jones and Lord Manners
Edward Heron, Donna Jones and Lord Manners

PCC Jones added: "In relation to Roger Penny Way, I very much share residents’ concerns about speeding in the New Forest and animal casualties.

"I am pleased to support a feasibility study into the potential use of average speed cameras along the road. There have been a number of animal deaths on the route in recent times; this loss of life is senseless and devastating for the animal owners.

"The New Forest is defined not only by the beautiful landscape, but also by the animals that roam the area and we should all work together to protect it. I would urge all drivers to drive with great care in the New Forest, especially as the nights draw in and visibility reduces."

Lord Manners, Official Verderer, said the verderers were "delighted", adding: "We believe the installation of such cameras would achieve a significant reduction in the number of animal casualties on this road."

A report on the next steps will be brought to a future NFDC cabinet meeting.

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