Animal road signs easier to put up after MP Mark Harper’s announcement

hedgehog crossing sign
Image caption,Signs like these could be more common under new regulations

Road signs to help small animals will be easier to put up following a change in government regulation.

The Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper made the announcement on a visit to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire.

Local authorities will no longer have to submit a detailed application for permission to erect the signs.

Mr Harper said the measures will help to “protect mammals from motorists and motorists from mammals”.

He said there is currently a lot of bureaucracy involved in putting up the road signs.

“If local authorities think there is an area where putting up the wildlife sign is good for road safety, and protects wild animals and drivers, they can go ahead and do it,” he said.

Mark Harper at Tiggywinkles
Image caption,Transport Secretary Mark Harper hopes the changes will protect endangered species like hedgehogs

Tiggywinkles was founded in 1978 and is now believed to be the busiest wildlife hospital in the world, having cared for more than 350,000 creatures.

CEO Colin Stocker welcomed the government’s move to make it easier for local authorities to put up animal road signs.

He said it would be particularly useful when “councils are aware there is a stretch of road where toads and frogs might cross in the spring”, or where hedgehog carcasses are often spotted.

The Department for Transport said it hoped relaxing the rules would “stop endangered species, including hedgehogs, from being injured or killed by vehicles.”

lady with hedgehog
Image caption,More than 30% of the animals cared for at Tiggywinkles hospital have been hit by a vehicle

One of the head nurses, Francesca Campanaro, said they are currently looking after more than 300 hedgehogs.

“This is our busy time for hedgehogs because of the short daylight hours.

“Any type of sign to help these little guys out would be great,” she said.

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