Road signs, dft
20th June 2019 at 9:50 am #15791
Hi, can anyone tell me how you register to be considered for a road sign for hedgehogs at the dft if you’re not on twitter or face book? I’ve had this info from Hugh on Change. Org. Also, well done for this, I would like to apply for this as we have precious few here. I do not want to wait for road kill as they will be all gone again. I could lobby my mp again.
Many thanks and good wishes to you all.20th June 2019 at 12:57 pm #15794
I suspect that it’s likely to ultimately be your local authority who is responsible for roads, who will make the final decision of if/where these signs are used. (Although I might be wrong about that – I don’t know what information you have seen on facebook or twitter.) But you could enquire at your local authority initially.
But in all circumstances, if you want a hog road sign in any particular location, it might be a good idea to prepare a case for it. That might include finding and suggesting suitable locations for the sign – where it is visible, but does not interfere with other signs, or create an excess of signs in one location, is not at an otherwise dangerous stretch of road i.e. consider road safety, etc. Bear in mind that all these ‘authorities’ are stretched at the moment, so may be more likely to agree if you have done some of the ‘leg work’. But it might be worth checking with them first to see what sort of information they would require. This might vary from place to place.
Then you might like to check out the Big Hedgehog Map, which will provide some sort of ‘proof’ that there are hedgehogs in the area and whether any have been killed on the road. This is a good example of how useful it can be if everyone enters all the hedgehogs they see (alive or dead) onto the Big Hedgehog Map – i.e. it can give an idea of how many hedgehogs there are in a given area.
Good luck. Let us know if you find out anything more about this.20th June 2019 at 5:50 pm #15805
Hi Nic, many thanks for that. I know just where a sign should go which won’t interfere with anything. As chair of our residents assos I know who to contact here, it was Hugh who suggested asking the dft first to, I assume, get your name down. It was via twitter or Facebook, but I don’t use them and from things in the past, it is really difficult to get in touch with anyone in the government unless via twitter and now you can only contact your own mp. Its very annoying if you want to contact a minister of a certain dept. Many thanks.20th June 2019 at 7:22 pm #15808
Just found this site which tells you different ways you can contact MPs:
There are contact details for loads of MPs, so presumably you get the address of Minister.
This is about the hog sign from Dept. of Transport https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-road-sign-to-improve-road-safety-and-protect-animals
I notice it says: Areas where accident rates are highest could benefit from a new sign which warns of hazards due to animals in the road. Which seems to be talking about accidents in general rather than areas where hedgehogs were killed.
Contact details for Dept. of Transport:
Judging by my previous attempts to write to an actual Minister – at DEFRA that was – it gets passed to someone else to deal with.
Hopefully something here might help.21st June 2019 at 8:14 pm #15834
Hi Nic, thankyou for the info. I did get the hog signs link from Hugh for dft, only there was no way to ask to be considered for a sign like he asked us too. I know my mp, so will probably contact him and also know my county Councillor. My argument from the start was these signs were not really to protect the hogs, but, as you have deduced, they are there to protect people who may hit one and have a motor accident! Or, if a number of hogs have been road kill. I also have checked the map which says 100 hog sightings! I wonder if I have accidentally knocked the map as I use my phone and it’s easy to knock it by accident! I have five visiting our garden and they cross two roads to reach the grass verges where a neighbour has seen them. We have 20mph on both roads, but with precious few police nowadays people are speeding up and down these roads. I truly thank you for your help and hope your visiting hogs stay fit and well.22nd June 2019 at 8:37 am #15851
FYI, letters to Ministers very, very, very rarely get seen by the Minister. They have people who deal with such things (my sis used to be one and another relative was a Minister). Your local MP is a slightly better bet (if they’re not a Minister) but even then they get masses of mail/e-mail and only a very select few will reach the target unless the subject is one of their personal hobby-horses.
County councils usually deal with roads and signage but beware wading through treacle. I used to have to deal with them professionally and it can be compared to digging heavy clay soil, huge amounts of effort with virtually no visible progress. It is however the place to start when trying to get road signs.23rd June 2019 at 1:10 am #15865
Hi William, thanks for your input on this subject. You are right of course, when writing to a gov dept there are plenty of secs and underlings who answer your emails, letters and so on and I know the ministers rarely see any of it. We meet with our County Councillor nearly every month and I’ve just had a visit off the parks dept regarding the cutting of the grass and making the workers aware of the hogs in the area. I think I’m sometimes looked upon as a mad woman at meetings. It was great amusement when I had a wood mouse in the house for months till I caught it in a live cage trap, then even more amusement when we drove it a few miles to a wood to release it! (it then clung to the back of the cage and didn’t want to leave) Anyway, I will try, I don’t hold out much hope, but I will have a go. Whilst I’m on my hobby horse, I am also fed up of seeing what I call “scrub” land with odd trees and bushes growing at sides of roads being cleared and cut down for no reason that I can see but to “tidy up”. Thanks again for all the help and info on this sight.24th June 2019 at 12:59 pm #15899
you could try contacting Chris Grayling directly – he is Transport Minister and Hedgehog species champion.
I contacted him towards the end of 2018 on hedgehogs, development and road matters, and he did in fact respond to me directly in a series of exchanges. His responses didn’t fill me with complete confidence that he is as passionate about wildlife and hogs in particular, as I would have hoped, but at least I knew I had been heard and directly by someone I assume to be making the decisions.
You could try asking him to set up an internal process that manages requests for hog signage – and to promote it – in his capacity as Species Champion for our beloved little spiky critters.
On the council grass cutting situation – there are some stickers that BHPS will send you if you ask for free – they are bright yellow warning signs that can be adhered to cutting machinery and equipment for hog look out. Councils and Companies who take this on get a shout out on a roll of honour set up by BHPS. Many Councils are already on the roll of honour – they seem to like being told they have been awarded for something positive and get to self promote their wildlife friendliness on the back of it – and it doesn’t cost them anything.
whatever works to get these things highlighted I say………….24th June 2019 at 2:03 pm #15901
Hi Jan-Marie, thanks for the info. There is a policy now that you can only contact your own mp. I did try last year to contact Mr Grayling to chase up what was happening, but ended up contacting my own mp Graham Jones, who assured me he thought it very important himself to help hedgehogs and then forwarded my query and also put a question forward in parliament to Mr Grayling. The grass cutters are in fact contractors with no names on the vans & low loaders and even though the gentleman I spoke to promised to speak to them about care for hedgehogs in the area, its a private concern. I have also been involved in attaining an award for a council, I have no wish to do it again! My hubby used to work for one as well, so we know that side of it. I would like to put stickers on lamp posts, but again, know its a no no as you need permission! What a life…when you only want to help endangered animals. Best wishes. Annker29th June 2019 at 12:22 am #16004
Hi all, just to say I’ve not forgotten you all. I’ve heard back from my own mp who is also contacting dft but I still await any answers regarding signage. I know it’s a county thing, but strapped for cash like they are I doubt I would get a good hearing, which is why I’m going the other route. I would like to know why any road signage costs so much money anyway. They always seem extortionate.
Enjoy your beautiful hedgehogs, we are all so lucky to see them.
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