Campaign: Hedge Trimmings and other Debris
Generally, for the relevant authorities to take the problem of hedge trimmings (and other debris) to cyclists more seriously.
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:
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:
Highways Agency (for trunk roads):
For dangerous hedge trimming practices contact the Health and Safety Executive:
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.