Lights designed to prevent deer from crossing the road and help keep drivers safe have been damaged in Burntwood.
A series of 32 wildlife crossing guards had been installed along a 1km stretch of the Burntwood bypass, to deter deer from crossing the road next to a new housing development.
The solar-powered crossing guards have a daylight sensor which activates them at night-time. Once activated, the devices can be triggered by approaching vehicle headlights, causing them to emit sound and flashing lights to stop animals from coming near.
However, a number of the lights have been damaged or stolen, causing rangers to look at new ways of making the lights secure before they can be replaced.
Staffordshire County Council’s countryside officers were hoping to trial the lights to see if they reduced the number of deer-related collisions in Burntwood.
County Councillor Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for the environment said:
“We are all hugely disappointed by this. A lot of work from our rangers and volunteers had gone into installing the lights, which we hoped would reduce the amount of deer collisions on that stretch of road.
“Last year, there were 167 deer-related collisions in Cannock Chase – not only is this fatal for the deer, but extremely traumatic and potentially fatal for the driver too. We are determined to continue this trial, as we believe it is important to reduce this number and keep drivers and deer safe.”
Local County Councillor Sue Woodward, who supported the scheme said:
“I’m really disappointed that this has happened, but I believe it comes from people not knowing what the lights were for. We want to make people aware that these lights aren’t a toy; they are there to stop the deer crossing the road and potentially getting hit by a car.
“I really hope that this important trial can continue, as it can potentially save not only deer, but the lives of motorists too.”