May 20 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A Norfolk family fears speeding motorists could kill somebody outside their home because they are being plagued by drivers using the road as a race track.
Jason Bunn, of Thistledown Farm, Tivetshall St Margaret, is appealing for motorists to slow down in Station Road because in the last five years motorists have crashed into his front wall and killed 19 ducks, as well as one of the family’s cats.
Mr Bunn, who lives with his partner Victoria Giles and her four children Lewis, 12, Josh, nine, Harry, eight and Ruby, four, said the situation had become so dangerous for the ducks that the family had made a sign which Lewis takes with him when he helps the ducks to cross the road from an opposite field.
The fluorescent sign starts with the words “Thanks to bad driving” and then continues with the running tally for the number of ducks that have been killed before pleading with drivers to slow down.
However, Mr Bunn, who owns sign manufacturer SignLine, said not all drivers had heeded the advice and were continuing to speed, potentially jeopardising the safety of the family and the four children.
“It is only a matter of time before somebody cops it. The cars that have crashed into the front wall have hit the walll so hard that bricks from the wall have hit the house, which is between five and seven metres away from the wall,” Mr Bunn added.
The flock of ducks, which used to number over 20, has been visiting the farm and surrounding area for the last three years and will often stand quacking by the side of the road to alert the family they need to cross, at which point Lewis would appear with his sign. But now there are only six ducks left.
John Birchall, a spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said the council’s highways team did not consider there to be anything particularly unusual about the road, which did not have a bad accident record.
He added: “We are sorry to hear about the ducks, but in many ways this is a typical stretch of rural B road and we have no record of human casualties in this area over the past three years.
“We did carry out some signing and lining improvements quite recently, and the road is currently scheduled to be resurfaced next year, but none of this will help protect ducks that are crossing between the farm and the fields.” He added speed limits and water fowl warning signs were unlikely to be effective in this circumstance and the best way of ensuring the safety of the ducks would be to prevent them crossing the road, but this would be difficult.