The new sign has yet to be installed across any road in the UK despite being given the green light by the Department for Transport (DfT) last year.
The new sign has yet to be installed across any road in the UK despite being given the green light by the Department for Transport (DfT) last year. The signs have so far proved unpopular with just four councils applying to install the new signs on their roads.
However, all four councils who applied were denied permission because they did not provide evidence they had a high concentration of animals on the roads.
Just Newcastle City Council, Middlesbrough Council, Surrey County Council and East Riding of York Council applied for the scheme but were all rejected.
An AA spokesperson said:
“Rejection of the applications based on failing to provide adequate evidence conjures up all sorts of weird scenarios.
“Council officers counting the bodies or sending off the evidence in jiffy bags.”
The new sign was first announced in June 2019 to help road users identify hazardous areas and warn them to take extra precautions.
Former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said local authorities and animal welfare groups should identify accident hotspots and decide where the signs were installed.
Wildlife numbers have been in decline in many areas with hedgehog populations just half of the levels seen in 2000.
Animal welfare groups have previously welcomed the new sign as roadkill has been a long term concern.
Fay Bass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said the signs were welcomed by the public and hoped they would soon be installed.
“We are disappointed that more authorities aren’t applying for the small mammal signs that feature a hedgehog and that the DfT are rejecting those that do.
“We know from interaction with the public that these signs would be very welcome in many areas where hedgehog road casualty counts are high.
“In the meantime, we produce a sign that can be purchased for display on private property.
“But we very much hope that the official signs will soon begin to be erected in the spirit they were intended.
“They are important to warn people that small animals might be on the road in that area, not only for the sake of the animal, but to help reduce risk for drivers too.”