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Stronger fencing is promised to keep livestock off New Forest roads

Concerns were raised that stock fencing along New Forest roads is not strong enough
Concerns were raised that stock fencing along New Forest roads is not strong enough

HAMPSHIRE County Council has promised “wherever possible” to use stronger, more expensive fencing to keep livestock off main roads in the New Forest.

Cllr Rob Humby, HCC’s cabinet member for economy, transport and environment, made the pledge after concerns were raised with the verderers by commoners warning of potential “carnage” if animals got through weakpoints onto 60mph routes.

Cllr Humby, who is also deputy leader, told the A&T: “We are aware of the importance of robust, stock-proof fencing beside main roads across the New Forest and this year we have embarked on a phased programme to repair or replace damaged sections.

“A survey has been carried out of all Hampshire County Council-owned fencing across the New Forest perambulation and, working closely with the verderers, funding has been prioritised to deal with the worst sections.

“Though Highway budgets are under significant pressure, I can confirm that the county council will consider using post and rail fencing wherever possible, and practical.”

As reported in the A&T, existing post-and-wire barriers were criticised as not strong enough in a November presentment to the verderers by Tony Vanderhoek, from the Commoners’ Defence Association committee.

He highlighted fences beside the A337, A35 and A326 and claimed some repairs by HCC highway teams have not been up to standard. He called for wider use of post-and-rail type wooden barriers complete with wire stock-netting.

The verderers noted that post-and-rail fencing was “considerably more expensive” than the post-and-wire alternative.

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