If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Residents lobby MP after Jade’s A31 death
RINGWOOD residents have called on local politicians to take urgent action on the A31 following the death of Jade Clark.
A letter has been written to New Forest MP Desmond Swayne from residents calling for more attention to be paid to the stretch of road where 16-year-old trainee hairdresser Jade was killed.
The letter, written to the MP and the CEO of the Highways Agency by Dr Martina Prude on behalf of concerned residents, questions why the agency considers there is insufficient evidence to support the speed limit reduction between Picket Post and the Ashley Heath roundabout.
Dr Prude is urging the agency to consider a number of suggestions, including reducing the speed limit to 50mph and 40mph, putting traffic lights on the flyover and at the exits onto the A31, restricting or banning direct access from West Street and making Ringwood High Street one way towards the Fish Inn.
Other initiatives put forward look at extending the Fish Inn and Texaco garage slip road, restricting traffic coming from Ringwood onto the A31 to two nearside lanes and reducing the amount of signage, which she feels may be confusing drivers.
In another letter to Hampshire Highways and New Forest District Council, Dr William Richmond said it was time for immediate action.
Dr Richmond said: “I have written to both the Highways Agency and the district council about reducing the speed limit on the A31 and modifying the Ringwood section around the Fish Inn and the petrol station to improve safety.
“It is now the time for another signed petition to be arranged and intense pressure to be put on the relevant authorities to stop further accidents on this dangerous section of the A31. There is a 50mph speed limit on the Dorset section of the A31 around Ashley Heath.”
The town council is also ramping up the pressure on the Highways Agency.
A letter from mayor Steve Rippon Swaine said the council had found the agency’s response to previous calls for safety measures on the A31 “disappointing”
He added: “The council does not accept there is nothing to support a reduction in speed limit; there are exceptional circumstances that should trigger an investigation despite the collision rate falling short of the required level.”