HEDGE TRIMMINGS

Campaign: Hedge Trimmings and other Debris

1.  Aim

Generally, for the relevant authorities to take the problem of hedge trimmings (and other debris) to cyclists more seriously.

Specifically:

1)      Promote awareness
2)      Facilitate complaints
3)      Qualitatively/ quantitatively measure the problem
4)      Informed by (3), engage with the relevant authorities

2.  The Problem

Frustrated by country punctures?  Had your day out spoilt?  Hopefully it did not cause a serious accident and you fixed the puncture and got home safely without too much disruption to you plans.  But it could have been different.

Most country punctures are probably caused by the sharp debris from careless or incompetent hedge trimming.  Operators and landowners dodge responsibility and liability.  Best practice is for proper training, properly maintaining equipment, and using a blower and flap guards.  Best practice would much reduce the problem but it is neither encouraged nor enforced.

Responsibility for safe roads is shared between the police, local authority, and highways agency, and the Health and Safety Executive – so complaining can be complex.

For more comment and opinion about this issue see the CTC forum:

http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20926

3.  Campaign Issues

‘Sunday cyclists’ may think hedge trimmings a trivial problem with fixing a puncture being part of the day’s fun.  In reality it is a significant deterrent to cycling participation – only the most dedicated and competent cyclists take punctures in their stride.  A puncture (getting around to fixing it and the deterring memory of an unplanned walk home) will keep a casual cyclist’s bike in the garage for weeks or months.

Farmers take the problem of mud on the road far more seriously because insurance companies will pursue costly claims of motor vehicle collision damage against them.  The low/unquantifiable cost of a puncture deters cyclist from doing likewise.

Broken glass in urban areas can have a similar effect on the casual cyclist, especially at night when the rider may be unable to avoid contact.

4.  What YOU can do

1)      File a report to the relevant authority
2)      Log your incident and report here

To file a report to the relevant authority:

For serious dangers/ obstructions (practicably, this means a risk to pedestrians or motor vehicles) contact the police:

telephone 999 for emergencies
telephone 101 or see http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/ContactUs/Pages/default.aspx for non-emergencies

For other dangers/ obstructions contact the relevant highway authority:

Plymouth City Council:
http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/transportandroads/highways.htm
http://www.plymouthonamap.com

Devon County Council:
http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/transportroads.htm
http://www.devon.gov.uk/form-road_surfaces?url=webcsm/Defect.aspx&sid=ooldnj2hfyy22255vxprex55

Cornwall Council:
http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=4496
https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=22064

Highways Agency (for trunk roads):
http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/2304.aspx

For dangerous hedge trimming practices contact the Health and Safety Executive:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm

To log your incident and report with us, please use the ‘leave a comment’ tab on the homepage making sure you give the following information

1)      Date of incident
2)      Damage/ injury sustained
3)      Incident location (grid reference if possible)
4)      Relevant authority reported to
5)      Date of report
6)      Brief details of report
7)      Relevant authority’s response
8)      Your response

Doing this will help us quantify the problem and inform our campaign.

Further reading:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4762
http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/0906_CTC_Vegetation_briefing.pdf

Related matters:

http://www.fillthathole.org.uk

  1. Hedge Trimming Incident of 13 Nov 11:

    No
    Field
    Record

    Report no.
    AJB/ 13Nov11/ 1

    1
    Day, date, and time of incident
    Sun 13 Nov 11: between 1100 and 1106

    2
    Damage/ injury sustained
    None

    3
    Incident location (grid reference if possible)
    A386 between Tavistock and Mary Tavy: between Hartford Bridge junction SX 502 767 and Horndon junction south of Mary Tavy SX 504 787.

    4
    Relevant authority reported to
    (including department and log no.)
    Customer Service Centre Roads & Transport Team (Devon Country Council (DCC)):
    DCC log nos: 11443447 and 11445802
    and
    Health and Safety Executive (HSE): log no: AD22253742

    5
    Date of report
    DCC: 14 Nov 11 and 15 Nov 11
    HSE: 22 Nov 11

    6
    Brief details of report
    Yellow tractor, VRN: WK10 ELC, was observed and photographed twice from the front of a following bus spraying hedge trimming debris all over the road.
    Appeared to be a negligent and dangerous use of a hedge trimmer causing a serious risk and disruption to cyclists and other road users.

    7
    Relevant authority’s response
    DCC checked the road the following day and sent me a letter explaining their responsibilities. No other action taken.
    HSE: no response.

    8
    Your response
    Consulted PCyC.

  2. Hedge Trimming Incident of 10 Feb 08:

    No
    Field
    Record

    Report no.
    AJB/ 10Feb08/ 1

    1
    Day, date, and time of incident
    Sun 10 Feb 08

    2
    Damage/ injury sustained
    Puncture: too big to repair

    3
    Incident location (grid reference if possible)
    Country lane between Blaxton and Maristow Quay, N of Tamerton Foliot; SX 473 636

    4
    Relevant authority reported to
    (including department and log no.)
    (Devon Country Council (DCC))
    and
    (South Hams District Council (SHDC))

    5
    Date of report
    12 Feb 08

    6
    Brief details of report
    ‘On Sun 10 Feb my eight year-old son and I attempted to cycle from our home in Tamerton Foliot, (north Plymouth) to Bere Ferrers, via Lopwell, by country road.  It was perfect weather for winter cycling.  Two miles out my son incurred a puncture caused by a sharp hedge trimming piercing his tyre.  The hole was too large to patch so we ended up aborting our trip and walking home.  It spoiled our day.’

    7
    Relevant authority’s response
    DCC did not respond.
    SHDC acknowledged but took no action: it suggested I contact the landowner.

    8
    Your response
    I contacted the landowner, Maristow Estate, who stated they did not know which tenant was responsible and otherwise fobbed me off.

  3. I wish you all well, I have been trying to get the undergrowth cut back along the A386 from Woolwell to Crownhill for months, let alone clearing up after. I have cycled the route with the new cycling Commisoner, walked it a gentleman from Amey, but still nithing done. Plymouth City Council dosent give atoss about cycling, its all a front for ticking the right boxes.

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