Call for households to keep front garden hedges in check

Published: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Residents with front garden hedges, trees or bushes are being urged to keep them under control so they don’t pose a pavement hazard for blind and disabled people.

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Overgrown bushes can cause serious pavement obstructions

Households that allow greenery to encroach onto pavements also make it more difficult for pedestrians to follow social distancing rules in place to combat Coronavirus.

Now the council is calling on these households to prune and cut back any overhanging vegetation and prevent it from obstructing the highway.

As well as freeing up pavement space, keeping hedges and bushes pruned can help make these homes less of a target for thieves and burglars by providing less cover for intruders looking to break in through doors and windows.

The council’s team of highways inspectors routinely check around the borough for street defects like potholes and broken pavements and also keep an eye out for overgrowing vegetation.

When they come across it they will write to the household asking for the work to be done. If it is not done within a reasonable time period, the council will do the work itself and send the bill to the homeowner.

Transport spokesman Cllr John Locker said: “It’s really important for residents to keep their garden vegetation properly trimmed and don’t allow it to encroach onto pavements and footpaths.

“Hedges, trees or bushes that are left to grow unchecked pose a serious hazard for blind and partially sighted people and also for people who use wheelchairs.

"The simple act of regularly pruning and cutting back bushes or low hanging branches will really help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

“And with the current need to maximise pavement space to allow people to adhere to social distancing rules, this message has never been more important.

“I have to say that if residents don't tackle the problem themselves then the council won't hesitate to do the work and send them the bill.”

For information on how to report an overhanging tree or hedge - or to report a range of other street defects, please visit the council’s website.