Highway developments have had a significant impact on the Forest since the mid‐20th Century. The A31, A337 and the A35 have been widened and fenced. The terminal roundabout of the M27 at Cadnam was constructed at the expense of 7 hectares of prime woodland. Minor roads have been widened and straightened. Traffic density and noise penetration have become such as to seriously diminish the tranquillity of the Forest.
Despite a 40mph speed limit, and more recently 30mph speed limits in many Forest villages, road traffic accidents involving commoners’ stock remain at an unacceptably high level. We believe that accepting some limitations on the use and speed of vehicles is a reasonable requirement in return for the privilege of visiting, or living and working in such a special landscape.
- Reducing the impact of road traffic on the tranquillity and environmental quality of the Forest through traffic and demand management, road design and landscaping.
- Reducing the number of animal accidents on unfenced roads by physical design, speed limit enforcement and awareness campaigns.
- Experimental measures to investigate the benefits of different permanent or seasonal traffic management tools.
- Reducing the visual and noise impacts of the busy A31 trunk road crossing the Forest.
- Proposals for road upgrading improvements or for new roads in the Forest.
- Piecemeal widening or straightening of secondary and minor roads under the guise of highway maintenance.
- Further highway fencing.
- The proliferation of highway signs or the replacement of signs with more intrusive ones.
- Kerbing, verge hardening or other urban highway treatment in rural Forest villages.
We will press for traffic calming measures additional to the 40mph limit and will urge the highway authority to experiment with innovative or new technology measures, such as average speed limits on secondary roads. We believe that the New Forest Highway Strategy should be reviewed to consider radical new highway policies incorporating, for example, seasonal or permanent road closures, setting vehicle capacities, closure or relocation of car parks and control of verge parking
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