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Deer road accidents to be collated

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Road accidents kill tens of thousand of deer and several people while costing the car insurance industry £20 million a year, according to breakdown service Autonational Rescue.

It reports that up to 74,000 of the animals are hit in 200 collisions a day, one of the worst blackspots being Epping Forest in Essex, a favourite hunting ground of medieval kings.

Others include Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, the New Forest in Hampshire and The Mendips in Somerset.

Blackspot roads include the A14 through Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, A9 in the Highlands, M3 between London and Southampton, A11 between London and Norwich, M4 between London and South Wales, and M9 between Stirling and Dunblane in Scotland.

Now, for the first time, details of the accidents are to be centrally collated in a project supported by Autonational and backed by the Highways Agency.

Autonational's marketing manager Ronan Hart said: "Motorists don't realise that deer-related accidents very often don't kill them outright - which is bad enough - but they have to be put down by rangers, vets or RSPCA staff afterwards or they escape to die of their injuries."

© Press Association 2008