Commuter calls for more signage in Berkhamsted after deer hit and run

Deer in Ashridge.
Deer in Ashridge.

A commuter has called for new warning signage on a residential street in Berkhamsted after helping a deer which was the victim of a hit and run.

Joel Stern, who lives in Chiltern Park Avenue, was walking home along Bridgewater Road when he noticed a lady who had stopped to help the stricken animal at the junction of Springfield Road and Billet Lane.

Joel, 31, said: “The deer was the size of a small dog. I helped the woman catch it as it was running all over the road.”

Another male motorist took the deer to the vets for treatment, but it’s not known if the animal made it.

Joel, a marketing manager in London, said: “I don’t know why there isn’t signage there. I’ve seen deer there twice in the last four months, so it’s definitely not a one off. I always see droppings on the road.

“There’s no warning for drivers to look out for deer, and it’s especially dangerous once the streetlights go off at midnight. Surely the safety of motorists should take priority over the cost of a few signs before someone is actually hurt?”

Ashridge ranger Lawrence Trowbridge said: “It sounds as if it could have been a muntjac, which are quite a solitary breed and will happily live in a more populated areas, like people’s back gardens.

“Wild deer do pose a very serious threat to motorists.The animals often appear suddenly causing motorists to swerve or even collide with other vehicles. Take particular care at dawn and dusk, and expect deer to be crossing on roads in the Ashridge Estate.”

Lawrence advised motorists who found themselves in a situation where they had collided with a deer to switch on their hazard lights and call the police on 101.

He said: “Don’t go anywhere near the injured animal, as they are wild and will be terrified of any human contact.”

Despite the incident, Herts County Council spokesman Andrew Dawnson said there were no plans to install signage at the junction. He said: “If a sign is installed, we locate them close to known deer crossing points and not at the start of long routes.

“We tend to limit their introduction to known high risk locations, as opposed to installing them following individual incidents.”