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Abbots Langley parish councillor angry with overgrown walkway parallel to High Elms Lane, north Watford
A parish councillor and former park ranger has complained about the safety risk posed by an unmaintained pedestrian walkway in north Watford.
The joint pedestrian and cycle path, which runs parallel to High Elms Lane, is currently so overgrown that, at some points, pedestrians are forced to walk on the cycle path. Cyclists would then have to ride on an uneven grass verge to avoid hitting walkers.
Martin Brooks, an Abbots Langley parish councillor, said: "The bushes cover half the walkway so they’ve got to walk into the bicycle path. I’m not saying the roadway is unsafe for kids because they shouldn’t be there. I’m saying that the walkway is. Everyone goes ‘oh it’s only the school run’, but it isn’t only the school run. The school run is the most important time because that’s when it’s busy. With all the schools in total you’re talking about 2,200 kids."
The road and pathway is used by students at Parmiters School and St Michaels School. Mr Brooks said he has filed numerous enquires over the last few years but has never seen anything being done about it.
The former Leavesden Park ranger said: "I would be happy right now if the highways department, instead of waiting until the end of summer for their cut cycle because this is all present in June and July, got rid of the overgrowth on the walkway now.
"I want them to come take care of the property they are supposed to take care of, to maintain this walkway that is to the benefit of everyone in the area. If they’d maintained it years ago, they’d only need two guys out here, but I can tell you this has not been taken care of for years. I’m focussing on High Elms Lane because of the schools and the amount of traffic, but it is not only a problem here."
The pathway is the responsibility of Ringway, who work on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council.
Matthew Kelley, Ringway Divisional Manager, working on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council, said: "We have received a small number of enquiries about overgrown vegetation on the cycle path in High Elms Lane. Ringway engineers have visited the site to inspect the issue and have found that the vegetation is overgrown but does not pose an immediate safety hazard to the public.
"Ringway tree surgeons that are specialists in dealing with trees and working with machinery at height will be visiting the site to carry out the works and we anticipate that this will be complete before the start of the new school term."
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