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Flood awareness duck race ends in violence
A HARMLESS yellow duck race to rally support for flood defences was soured on Saturday when a Hampshire road closure nearly caused two people to come to blows.
Villagers in Bramdean were hosting their very first yellow duck race to raise awareness of the ongoing problems they’ve experienced when a motorcyclist tried to force his way through the blockade threatening one villager who stood in front of his bike blocking his way.
The villager, who asked not to be named, said: “The road is clearly closed and there are a lot of children here trying to have fun. I asked him to drive around the road closure and he tried to swing for me.
“Only last week a Range Rover driver got his wallet out to pay a boy to get him to come through! It’s unbelievable.”
Resident Jilly Berryman, of Wood Lane, said: “This is what we’ve had to face every day; drivers getting violent towards local residents. Just the other day a freight lorry came through here doing 35mph and created an eight foot bow wave. It’s creating so many problems for the houses here. It’s very upsetting.”
Organiser Pippa Deakin-Stephenson said threats of violence towards villagers was just one of many problems the residents had faced because of the flooded closed roads.
“The idea behind today was to bring the whole village together to share their feelings about it,” she said. “While we are sympathetic with the council for doing what they have this village, like so many other villages across Hampshire, has been so badly affected.
“We would like the council to either redirect the A272 or put in the correct means with the money they’re receiving from the government to put this right. We don’t want that money to be diverted into more desk jobs; we want it used properly.
“It’s an arterial road vital to our community and there should be cars and lorries going down it not yellow ducks. We have suffered severely and we’re all asking how are we going to stop this happening again? I’ve even offered my garden to the council to dig up and put in storm drains because I’d rather do that than have this happen again.”
Nearly £100 was raised from entries for the race which saw children splashing carelessly in the water on skateboards and in waders cheering on their bright-coloured ducks to the finish line.