Rubery residents slam Highways over hedge road danger

By Carl Jackson Wednesday 16 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 12:41

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Buy photos » Subway hedges Linda Cooper and grandson George Laver (10 mths) join cllr Peter McDonald at the subway. Photo by Marcus Mingins 0313001MMR

RUBERY residents have hit out at Worcestershire County Council for failing to maintain an overgrown hedge which they claim is blocking their vision when they try to cross a busy and dangerous road after exiting a village underpass.

They say the large bushes on Callowbrook Lane, which have reached heights of around 10ft and more than 2ft width-wise, are obscuring their view of the traffic.

The subway is the main pedestrian access for hundreds of people living in the area visiting Rubery High Street on New Road.

Residents and a councillor raised the issues weeks ago, but said their appeals had been ignored.

Linda Cooper, 63, who lives near Callowbrook Lane, said she had a near miss when she tried to cross the road with her grandson.

"A gentleman in front of me had to shout to me to get back - this car was coming up so fast he would of ripped the front of the pushchair off.

"Those hedges and bushes have grown more and more now - you have to stick your head right out, you can't see at all.

"It's very very dangerous, has someone got to lose their life before someone does anything?"

Ms Cooper said a double barrier at the top of the subway, which prevents motorcycles going through, meant there was not even enough room to turn the pushchair around and walk backwards on to the road.

She added her friend had been knocked down on the road because of the problem a few years ago and her neighbour on Callowbrook Lane was forever hearing the screeching of brakes from cars coming to a sudden halt.

"A lot of elderly people and plenty of children use that subway.

"What's annoying is the length of time the council takes to get around to doing anything.

"Do they wait for an accident or fatality?"

Coun Peter McDonald said he had requested the hedges to be cut as as early as mid-December.

"It is hard to believe Worcestershire County Council does not routinely cut these hedges - safety should be a priority.

"When pedestrians, many with young children leave the subway, it is extremely difficult to see if any traffic is coming without having to step out into the road and putting yourself at risk.

"It will only take two minutes to cut the hedge, but that two minutes could well save a life."

Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council's Highways customer and community manager, said an inspector had been to the site and added the hedges would be cut back next week.

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