Spring growth causing footpath hazards.

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2018-12-11T12:10:00 Pacific/Tarawa

Tue 11 Dec 18

New spring growth is seeing Council starting to field calls from people who have either tripped or been impeded by vegetation that has spread across footpaths creating health and safety hazards.

Group Manager Community Services Margaret Hawthorne said that spring and summer always meant the start of complaints and requests for service associated with vegetation growth.

“At this time of year the complaints are usually around new vegetation such as hedges, other boundary plants or overhanging branches spreading across footpaths causing tripping or clearance problems,” she said.

“As summer starts to get hotter for longer we then start receiving more complaints about overgrown sections and the potential health risks that this poses.

In either case Council will check the complaint out and if a risk exists we will notify the property owner requesting that they cut and remove any overgrown vegetation.

If the follow-up inspection shows that no action has been taken Council’s Parks and Reserves contractor will be instructed to do the work and an invoice will be forwarded to the property owner.”

Mrs Hawthorne said that overgrown vegetation can pose real hazards and people should be mindful of the risks.

“People should also keep a watch on tree growth and power lines as they can be liable for any outages that trees on their property causes,” she said.

In Ohakune Councillor Cynthia Dowsett said that she has had a number of people contact her directly to complain about footpaths that are being overgrown.

“For the young and the fit this isn’t normally problem but for older people and especially anyone using a mobility aid this can be a real health and safety concern.

In many cases it is often simply the case that plants grow so fast at this time of year that things can go from not being a problem to being a problem in a week or two.

I’d like to ask anyone who has a boundary that adjoins onto footpaths to keep an eye on it and ensure that any overhanging branches or spreading vegetation is cut back and there is a clear path for pedestrians,” she said.

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Councillor Cynthia Dowsett is asking property owners to check their footpath boundaries and ensure that they are free from any overgrown vegetation that can cause tripping and other hazard issues especially for older or less able pedestrians.

Page reviewed: 11 Dec 2018 12:10pm