A DISTRAUGHT pet owner who lost two cats in a fortnight to hit-and-run drivers has pleaded for greater restrictions near The Petersfield School.
Lucy Ritchie fears a child will be next unless efforts to curb speeding on Cranford Road aren’t addressed.
The railway worker was left heartbroken on July 21 when her adolescent housecat Webson was left dead on the roadside after being struck by a car.
The same thing happened a fortnight later around 9pm on Saturday, August 5, when Anubis (right) was struck by a driver who didn’t stop. To make matters even sadder, both cats were born on Christmas Day and raised from birth by Lucy and her family.
She said: “The first one was at 8.25 in the morning and it was someone racing to get their child to school.
“They didn’t even stop but they were going so fast Webson was killed instantly and wouldn’t have felt a thing.
“It was very similar with Anubis as he was left on the road.
“A Ukrainian couple, who were moving in, saw the cat, picked it up, wrapped it in a towel and carried it to us.”
Lucy added: “The next one will be a child at this rate.
“You can’t get much speed by the green on Cranford Road but they pick up on the long stretch.
“I’m probably being kind when I say some of them do 40mph, but I’ve definitely seen cars doing 70mph on there.”
Lucy would like to see the surrounding limit reduced to 20mph so tougher punishments can be handed out to those who are caught riving too fast.
Traffic-calming measures would be welcomed along with the permanent installation of an LED ‘slow down’ sign.
One sign is on a three-month rotation and will be appearing in Pulens Lane, Bell Hill and other roads where speeding is a problem before returning for another stint in Cranford Road.
Some of the residents who responded to Lucy’s news on social media have also lost two or three cats to speeders with Moggs Mead and Tilmore Road both being namechecked.
Hampshire county councillor Russell Oppenheimer said there was a schedule of priorities but acknowledged a widespread 20mph limit could be a future consideration.
He said: “Once we’ve done Pulens Lane and Dragon Street we’ll start looking at Sussex Road, Bell Hill and Moggs Mead and they’re certainly on our radar.
“We can only deliver one road at a time and then there’s the whole question about do we want a 20mph speed limit for the whole town?
“I’m not sure people are ready for that but I think it’s worth debating and considering in the future.”