Drivers put at risk by grass cutting policy - claim

Colin Self in the long grass at the A17 junction with Boston Road, Heckington which he claims obscured his view, leading to a potentially serious crash. EMN-170619-141229001
Colin Self in the long grass at the A17 junction with Boston Road, Heckington which he claims obscured his view, leading to a potentially serious crash. EMN-170619-141229001

A Heckington motorist fears county council cost cutting by reducing the amount of roadside grass verges it cuts and the frequency per year could have contributed to a potentially serious crash.

The council announced last year it would save money by stopping grass cutting in urban areas of towns and villages and reducing cuts along rural roads, except at junctions.

Colin Self, of Cameron Street, was heading out of the village on Saturday morning (June 10) at around 11.30am when he was involved in the shocking smash.

He told The Standard: “As you come out of the village the height of the grass is phenomenal. I was going out on Boston Road to turn right to join the A17.

“You go half way across and then join the traffic, but before you get there the grass is very high and obstructs your view. I would say it was about three feet high.”

Mr Self commented: “I had to edge right forward to see if any cars were coming.”

Mr Self claimed the long grass was a contributing factor to the accident.

A passing car was in collision with the front of his vehicle, then rolled down the road, coming to rest back on its wheels.

He said: “It took the front of my car out.

“Thankfully no-one was seriously injured and the woman went to hospital with just bruises, but I thought someone could have been killed.”

A shocked Mr Self believes he was straining to see beyond the grass so much he had difficulty in seeing oncoming vehicles.

“I have been driving out of that junction for 15 years,” he said.

A police spokesman confirmed the collision between a VW Tiguan and a Vauxhall Astra. Although minor injury, it is still subject to a police investigation.

A collision report has been made but a final decision on any action may take some time.

A highways spokesperson told The Standard on Monday: “The reduction to two cuts (previously three) a year on rural roads such as this was introduced over a year ago, and we are not aware of any resulting increase in the number of collisions in that time.

“Prior to the collision, there were no recorded reports highlighting, visibility concerns at this junction.”

He added: “The safety of motorists is extremely important to us, and concerns about overgrown grass can be reported via our online system at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/faultreporting or by calling 01522 782070.

“Our team can then investigate and take action, if necessary.

“This section of road is included in our programme to be cut this week.”

Coun Jan Palmer, chairman of Heckington Parish Council confirmed: “We have been reporting the dangerous state of both junctions on the A17, east and west for some weeks now.

“We have had numerous complaints about the state of the junctions and lack of visibility.”

She continued: “We understood that Lincolnshire County Council were still going to keep ‘junctions’ cut and clear. This has obviously not happened.

“We have asked our county councillor Barry Young to have words in the right places.”

Concerns have been raised recently about grass at junctions in other areas including Boston.