Council criticised as overgrown hedges in Lea obscure a bus stop, warning sign and block paths

Lancashire County Council has been under criticism due to overgrown bushes in Lea, Preston which pose safety risks to residents, as well as obscuring a bus stop and road warning sign.

Lea resident Paul Brookes, 58, told the Post he has safety concerns regarding two particular instances along Lea Road, which lie only 200 yards from each other.

Paul, a retired firefighter explained: “One is the bus stop opposite Summer Trees Avenue. The hedge is well overgrown and the undergrowth is protruding onto the road, so there's no way that anybody with a push chair or wheelchair could get access to the bus on that side, and also, you cannot use that footpath, because it's that badly overgrown. There is a footpath on the other side of the road but that's irrelevant if you have to cross it to go to the bus stop.

“The other, main issue for us because we do a lot of walking, is just prior to the Lea Road rail bridge. Again, the hedge is well overgrown, which forces you out onto the road, and the only area you can cross is on a blind bend but cars constantly come around that corner, so it's a massive health and safety issue, it’s really quite dangerous. Also on that bend is a sign showing the height restriction for the railway bridge, and a few weeks ago, a HGV waggon missed the sign and had to stop just before the bridge, so obviously the traffic built up behind the HGV and it took hours for him to be able to reverse back and move away from the situation.”

Local resident Paul Brookes is concerned about the safety of pedestrians along Lea Road, Lea, as the bushes are overgrown, covering the footpath at the bus stop and near the bridge.

Paul had raised the issue surrounding the bus stop with his local councillor, David Burrows last year, who intervened and had the main part of the hedge cut.

However Paul says the the brambles were left alone, which has lead to its undergrowth becoming especially overgrown.

Even with last year’s trimming of the main hedge, it has grown back enough to block the bus stop sign, rendering it almost invisible.

Paul added: “The government is actively trying to encourage people not to use their cars and use public transport or walk and this issue on Lea Road discourages people from doing this.”

The overgrown bush near the rail bridge obscures a height restriction sign, causing traffic chaos in the past.

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The maintenance of highways is the responsibility of Lancashire County Council, and describing what he wants them to do, Paul said: “Just make sure that it's accessible where the bus stop is and on the blind bend, so long as HGVs can see the sign, and pedestrians can actually get onto the bend and see cars from a distance so its safe to cross the road.

“It's a reoccurring issue, and I just wished that the council would put it on their plan of works so that it could be done every year.”

When approached by the Post, a spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their trees and hedges don't become overgrown and obstruct roads, pavements, and signs, and we have written to the owner of the land adjoining Lea Road about this issue.

The area is particularly dangerous for prams and wheelchair users.

"If landowners don't respond to our requests we will arrange for the work to be carried out and recharge them."

Paul lives just off Summer Trees Avenue with his wife Sandra
The bus stop oppsoite Summer Trees Avenue is rendered almost invisible by the overgrown hedge.