South Weirs pinch points
During September 2010, nine pinch points were installed on Burley Road (through an area known as South Weirs) to the south of Brockenhurst. The decision was taken by Hampshire County Council as the Highway Authority after a local campaign by the South Weirs Action Group for Safety. The hope is that the pinch points will reduce vehicle speeds and the number and severity of accidents along this route. In October 2015 three of the pinch points were removed, and signage was added to clarify which drivers have priority depending on their direction of travel.
Pinch points have previously been installed to reduce traffic speeds within villages and there are six on the road between Burley and Thorney Hill which were installed to protect drainage culverts under the road. However, nowhere else in the open landscapes of the Forest have they been installed specifically to reduce animal accidents. Pinch points are by definition quite intrusive and are therefore not universally popular, but the scheme will provide a powerful experiment through which their effectiveness can be demonstrated.
Between January 2005 and September 2010 there was an average of 4.3 animal accidents and 1.6 deaths (animals that were either killed outright or destroyed because of their injuries). In the five years since the changing signs have been in place, there has been an average of 3.2 animal accidents and 1.2 deaths.
These initial results suggest that the pinch points are probably reducing the frequency and severity of animal accidents.
The Highway Authority is monitoring the trial before decisions are made about the permanence of the pinch points. Data on traffic speed and personal injuries will also be taken into account.