Be cow cautious, stick to 30
Cows are set to make their annual return around the Minchinhampton, Selsley and Rodborough commons this month and drivers are being warned to take care.
Last year, eight cattle died in collisions with motor vehicles, the same as the previous year. However, each of these collisions involved not only the death of a cow, but the driver and passengers involved in the collisions were put at serious risk of injury.
Drivers are therefore being advised by safety groups to stick to an advisory 30mph limit across the commons while the cows are free roaming, as the cattle can be unpredictable and are often difficult to see during the night.
Around 500 local cattle are expected to appear on the commons from Friday 13th May, known as marking day. Several measures are being put in place to try and reduce the number of cows being hit.
Signs will be put out reading to remind users to be alert when driving, and several of the signs will also be reflective to make sure they can be seen at night.
Fencing has been put in place in an attempt to stop cows walking onto the road by the quarry next to the Amberley turn, where the majority of collisions occur.
A Variable Message Sign trailer will be put in place to highlight the release of cattle and incidents as they occur, and new yellow cattle warning signs will also be put up at the main entrances to the common.
Local farmer Bill Powell whose cattle are released onto the commons every year, said: “It seems odd to some people to see cattle on unfenced properties, but grazing is the best way to keep the commons in good condition for everyone’s benefit.
“Last year eight cattle were killed on the commons, the same as the previous year, but we are all doing our best to keep these crashes to an absolute minimum. We’re caring people and don’t want to see cattle killed or injured – or put drivers at risk.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for road safety, said: “It may not sound dangerous, but colliding with a cow when driving can be very serious for everyone involved.
“You may drive across this road regularly, but when the cows are released onto the common, you need to be extra observant.”