Overgrown hedges force pedestrians onto the road

Many pavements in the village are becoming inaccessible to pedestrians, particularly those with prams, wheelchairs or shopping trolleys because residents are allowing their hedges to encroach, or in some case completely take over, the pavement forcing people to walk in the road.

Local residents attended a meeting with officers from Cheshire East Highways on Monday, 14th August, to alert them to this dangerous situation - particularly around The Circuit where a four and a half foot pavement has been reduced to just 4 inches because of an overgrown hedge.

One resident said "Walking to school with children you are having to go into the road where oncoming traffic is turning into The Circuit. It is very dangerous. I was nearly hit myself with my grandson in his pram.

"The thing is in years gone by the Council would send a letter saying cut your hedge or we'll come and cut it and you'll get charged. The problem with that was when it did get cut it got cut a foot or maybe two and a mother with a pram still can't get on that pavement, it needs cutting to the original width of the pavement."

Residents also highlighted the problem at Heyes Lane, near South Bank, where you either need to cross over or walk in the road if have a pram, trolley or wheelchair because of an overgrown holly hedge.

Another local resident said "It's a danger. A mother having to go off the pavement into the road facing oncoming traffic is not acceptable. Are there inspectors looking? How can a hedge get that far out if it's been inspected?"

Mark Heywood of Cheshire East Highways admitted "There is still a long way to go."

Speaking about approaching local residents to trim their hedges, Lynne Nixon from Cheshire East Highways commented "It is a constant battle. We don't want to fall out with people and upset people and be heavy handed."

Speaking to Mark Heywood, Councillor Craig Browne said "I do report a number of these hedges to you and to be fair Andy Simpson does send letters out to the occupants but the issue is that some of them respond very positively to the letter that they get but there are a few that ultimately refuse to cut their hedge and it doesn't seem as though there is any follow up at that point. There does not seem to be that level of enforcement."

Mark Heywood responded "We do try and use a stepped approach to it. It is always best face-to-face, if you get a letter through your door you tend to act in a different way to somebody knocking on your door, if you can explain what the problem is to the local community."

He added "If you have a boundary hedge, it's like everything else in your house you have got to maintain it."

One resident told alderleyedge.com "I am fearful that it is only a matter of time before there is an accident caused by the overgrown hedges. We need to reclaim the full width of our pavements and not just a few inches. I am glad that the council has agreed to take action on these matters and hope that local residents will accept responsibility where necessary in helping to make our pavements safe for all."

Photos show the exit leaving The Circuit where the pavement narrows forcing pedestrians onto the road.

The next picture shows the width the pavement should be - over a metre wide. 

The last picture also shows the condition of the road which residents say makes it even more difficult to push a buggy.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 4:43 pm
Similar where I live. I keep my beech hedge under control though.

Most problems however are caused by cars parked on pavements forcing pedestrians into the road. Happens all the time.
Terry Bowes
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 5:06 pm
Very nice to see the dedicated few turn up at the meeting arranged by Craig. There were as Lisa says a lot of comments re; Heyes Lane and The Circuit, let's hope some action ensues.
Monica Sim
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 5:39 pm
It's not just the overgrown hedges or cars parked halfway across the pavement that forces pedestrians out onto the road; it's the state of the pavements themselves. Try walking down Trafford Road to the station or down Stevens Street to do some shopping and count how many trip hazards you have to avoid to get to your destination. I have long given up wearing high heels when walking into the village as I don't want to risk a broken ankle.

In these circumstances the road is far safer!
Neil Carr
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 6:40 pm
The hedge belonging to the house on the corner of Chorley Hall Lane and South Grove takes away at least half the pavement on what is already a dangerous spot for pedestrians.
Paul Williams
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 10:28 pm
I'm sure that if the pavements were blocked by parked cars, the attitude of the Council, Cheshire East Highways and many respondents on here would be completely different.

I remember the response to the warning letters placed on cars parked on Congleton Road a few months ago.
"Fine them, tow them away, prosecute the owners, etc.

Park your car inappropriately and you get vilified but block the path with a hedge for years or possibly decades and the response is

"We don't want to fall out with people and upset people and be heavy handed."
James MacDonald
Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 11:07 pm
"It is a constant battle. We don't want to fall out with people and upset people and be heavy handed."

Perhaps it would be more prudent to protect pedestrians and worry a little less about upsetting people that break the law.

If you can't understand this then maybe someone else should fulfil this role.
Peter Smallwood
Wednesday 16th August 2017 at 7:55 am
As a regular walker around AE I agree that this has become a serious problem and requires more positive action from Cheshire East. Perhaps they could demonstrate this by trimming many of the overgrown trees and bushes that are under their control.
Mark Curtis
Thursday 17th August 2017 at 10:37 am
I think we're lucky having someone like Lisa running Alderleyedge.com and Wilmslow.co.uk so these problems can be highlighted. There are some really good comments and it's nice to see that all agree this is a problem in the village but what would be really nice to see is the council actually doing something about it
Graham McLelland
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 1:35 pm
IN August of 2016 I wrote on this site about the dangers on Heyes Lane and Davey Lane caused by hedges over grown and infact now on Heyes Lane encroaching over half the pavement in parts. I also wrote e mail to Cheshire East who replied that in September 2016 there would be a survey done on these and other areas. It has taken nearly 12 months for the councils now to recognise the problems and in fact sorry but that same time for many others to complain.In Davey Lane from Elmfield rd towards the village pedestrians including mothers with children and push chairs have to walk on the road not only because of over grown hedges but idiot car parkers who park half on the roads half on the path
The days when owners or part owners of these hedges looking after them does not exsist they could not give a damn,As for the mindless motorist who park on the footpaths seems no one is bothered