A CRITICALLY injured man remains unconscious in hospital following an alleged hit and run in Christchurch.

The victim, whose identity has not been confirmed, was still in hospital after being found on rural track Marsh Lane with ‘serious head injuries’ on Monday.

A police spokesperson said they believed the man to be in his 40s, of no fixed abode, and that his next of kin have not yet been informed.

She added: “We believe we know who he is but are unable to confirm this because he is still unconscious. He is in a critical condition.”

The man was taken to the neurological department at Southampton General Hospital at around noon on Monday and police cordoned off the lane while they carried out investigations in the area for much of the day.

Residents living nearby said they were “shocked” by the incident but that the lane has become busier in recent times.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said the area has always been quiet, but that some use the lane like a race track.

Linda Grant, who lives on Norfolk Close – which backs onto Marsh Lane, said cars often travel too quickly.

She added: “I always have to make sure that the dog is on her lead because some people go tearing down there.”

Julia Perez, 47, who has lived in Norfolk Close for 13 years, said she had seen the ambulance at the scene and was upset to hear it may have been a hit and run.

She added: “It is terrible. It’s shocking, but not a surprise. It used to be like a footpath but now it’s more like a road.

“Lorries and cars use it all the time and you can hear cars and bikes going very fast down there.”

Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, Cllr Susan Spittle, of St Catherine’s and Hurn ward, said she had been “absolutely shocked” to hear the news.

Following the police inspection today the lane has now been reopened to traffic.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 101, quoting reference number 145 of 31/3.