Bus Driver Wants Action On Overgrown Hedges

Overgrown brambles are causing a problem. Photo courtesy of Glynne Lucas.

Somebody will be hurt if the Council doesn’t deal with overgrowing hedgerows in Scilly that are creating a hazard to walkers, cyclists and drivers.

That’s the view of Island Rover bus driver, Glynne Lucas.

Glynne says he’s complained to the Council for years about what he believes is a lack of maintenance, which effectively narrows the road by up to four feet in places, and says a young man came off his bike recently when he became entwined in protruding brambles near the riding centre.

Glynne feels that farmers aren’t taking their responsibility seriously in maintaining the hedgerows and he wants the Town Hall to force tenants to do the work, or undertake the work on their behalf and bill them.

He has taken chairman Mike Hicks out for a trip to show how dangerous the situation has become around the island.

The Council say that their Technical Services department work cooperatively with everyone concerned with trimming of hedges along the highway. They have a duty to act as the Highway Authority and produce a guidance leaflet about how hedges should be maintained.

They say they are “really pleased” with the efforts to maintain hedges and have received minimal complaints, but when they are brought to the attention of staff “speedy action” has been taken to contact people with a duty to maintain that area.

However, Glynne says he’s surprised by their response. He said he’d like to know how much is “minimal complaints” and he thinks people might be frightened of complaining and getting their names mentioned publicly.

Glynne added that if the Council thinks the situation is acceptable, “it speaks volumes for the mentality in the Town Hall.”

Most of the hedges on Duchy property are the responsibility of the occupier, according to Land Steward, Chris Gregory.

He says Hugh House is responsible for trees and they survey all of them by the roadside in the spring. He said a programme of maintenance work has already started.

The Town Hall says members of the public who encounter brambles or hedgerows that are a problem should contact them and they’ll get in touch with the relevant individuals or organisations responsible.


2 Responses to Bus Driver Wants Action On Overgrown Hedges

  1. Todd Stevens August 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Its like with the Moorwell Alp Glynn, they take a crisp packet of it and then can tell the councillors that the back log is being reduced.

  2. IanT August 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Whilst I have every sympathy with your problem Glynn, I am afraid that land/property owners are responsible keeping hedges clear of road AND pavements/footpaths. There are specific guidelines laid down and if you read them you will probably find, like here in Devon, that no more than half will actually comply. To get action, from my experience on the receiving end of three complaints, you will need to make a specific complaint which should force the Council to take action against the property owner. Similar even more drastic regulations apply to trees over hanging a roadway especially if rotten branches are in evidence.
    Unfortunately, many people think that these problems are the Council’s responsibility so you may make a few enemies if you do complain. Good luck.