300,000 hedgehogs killed but ministers won’t allow signs to stop road deaths

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Spineless ministers won’t sanction hedgehog warning signs even though 300,000 die on UK roads each year.

Campaigners blame red tape and fear fresh carnage as baby hedgehogs leave the nest in July.

Transport minister Rachel Maclean has spiked six applications from councils for small wild animals road signs over the past three years.

She said: “None have been approved.”

Ministers say they have not been given enough evidence to justify changing rules to allow councils to put up the signs without Whitehall permission.

Cheshire Labour MP Derek Twigg said: “If they want to pay for the road signs they should be allowed to.”

Accidents involving animals, excluding horses, leave 600 people injured each year. In 2017 four people were killed.

Ex-Transport Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled a warning sign in 2019 urging councils to identify blackspots.

But his own rules stopped them acting. The UK has 1.5million hedgehogs, down from 36million in the 1950s.

The Department for Transport said: “Signs are to improve safety by alerting drivers to hazards and require evidence before being placed.”