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Friday, 24 September 2010

Sign of the times

A project to remove old and intrusive road signs from a key New Forest road is moving to the next stage thanks to the New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire Country Council.

Nine road signs are being removed from the B3054 (between Lymington and Dibden Purlieu) in order to make way for four new triangular warning signs and supplementary plates that have been designed to help reduce animal accidents on this busy road.

Each new warning sign will have a ’Wild Animals’ triangular sign accompanied by a supplementary plate carrying a short message that will be changed every three months.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Visitor and Recreation Services at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This scheme is aimed especially at those of us who use this route regularly.

‘The current signs have been in place a long time - some were in bad condition and people travelling through the Forest were taking them for granted.

‘The B3054 is one of the worst roads in the Forest for animal accidents. By changing the messages on the signs and keeping them topical we can remind drivers about the risks.

‘In recent years there have been between 20-30 animal accidents on this road. Half of these accidents happen in daylight; animals sometimes step out in front of passing cars at the last moment - we need to give them a wide berth or be ready to stop.’

Councillor Mel Kendal, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: ‘The new road signs convey simple, clear messages. The background colour of each message will also be different, attracting the attention of local people who think ‘it will never happen to them’.

‘The Highway Authority is committed to removing old, ineffective signs as part of its programme of sign rationalisation. If the B3054 pilot project works, we’ll look to extending it to other parts of the New Forest in future years.’

This scheme is a joint partnership between the New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire County Council.

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