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Cats killed on Freshford's roads

Freshford six cats killed on the roads in 2012 despite a 20mph speed limit

It is alarming that last year (2012) six cats died after being run over by vehicles in Freshford. This carnage is happening in a village with a 20 mph speed limit. Some of these cats died on a Sunday so this issue is not entirely due to speeding motorists going to work.  I suppose that what we are dealing with is drivers who are not concerned about other living creatures. Perhaps, as is more likely, these drivers are unaware of what they are doing when they drive their vehicles, driving has become automatic.

Freshford motorists should be ashamed of themselves

However, it is a shame, I repeat a shame that families are unwilling to own a cat because they are afraid they will lose it to drivers who do not care. Or should I say, seem to be unaware of the danger they pose to wildlife when they drive their vehicle.  I wonder why these drivers live in the country?

Not only animals are at risk in Freshford

I was nearly hit as a cyclist going down The Hill by a motorist (the road was wet) who said she was not going more than 20mph. Did she really think that she was not going too fast because she was not going more than 20mph? Twenty miles per hour up hill on a wet road around a bend, The Hill is not straight. She skidded, how can someone in a Mercedes car have to skid while driving up hill, supposedly at no more than twenty miles per hour?  Perhaps she was looking at her speedometer and failed to see me until she had to brake, to brake heavily enough to make a modern car with ABS braking system skid whilst going up hill!  However, twenty miles per hour is a little less than the speed of the World record holder runner over a kilometer distance and if one were to ride a bike at 20mph one would realist that 20 mph is fast- try it.

Speed limits and village quality of life in Westwood, Freshford and Limpley Stoke

We have twenty mile per hour speed limits though Westwood, Freshford and Limpley Stoke. Some, if not all, of these speed limits have yet to be approved.  Unfortunately, whilst speed limits supported by a TRO (Traffic regulation order) can be enforced by police much of the problem seems to be centred around drivers who drive at the speed limit. To a pedestrian, cyclist and equestian vehicles do travel too fast. As recent measurements in Westwood indicate, often the vehcles are not travelling as fast as people on foot think. But in terms of safety, being in a car travelling at 20mph or more is like sitting watching TV compared to being passed on the road as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle: even a small car weighs 500kg or half a ton. The majority of drivers, both Freshford drivers and other local drivers drive with considerable consideration for other road users the problem lies, as always, with those that do not.

We really need the speed limits to be approved by TROs and must insist that police do regular speed checks, otherwise the limits will be ignored as perhaps they are now.

Housing in the countryside the consequences

There has been considerable building in the countryside and will be more. The countryside being land which surrounds a city, town or village. There is no demand for this housing other than it is cheaper than living in town (eg. Bath) as there is little opportunity for work. Recent expansion in Bradford on Avon, for example, is not matched by local work opportunities.  One of the consequences of this new building is that more and more peope are travelling comsiderably distances to work, mostly by car. Unfortunately, I do not feel that these commuters are in the mood to obey speed limits let alone have regard for someone's pet. There is no neccesity for a driver to notify the police if he or she has an accident involving a cat although there is with a dog. Or this is incorrect see below:

Road accidents that must be reported to police

If you hit and injure an animal (apart from a bird), you are required by law to do whatever you reasonably can to ease its pain. If it’s not a wild animal then the injury must be reported to the police or the animal’s owner. This is from an Australian website but one shouold think that it should apply to the UK.

http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/lawaccess/ll_lawassist.nsf/pages/lawassist_accidents_involving_animals

Anyone witnessing an accident involving a cat should take the registration number of the car. 

The majority of drivers, both Freshford drivers and other local drivers drive with considerable consideration for other road users the problem lies, as always, with those that do not.

 

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Posted on 16 Jan 2013 by Geoff Edwards

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