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Footpaths are for people not plants

30 Mar 2011

Footpaths are for people not plants

There has been a significant increase in the number of complaints to council recently about overgrown vegetation onto to city footpaths.  

Regular walker and Deputy Mayor Nona Aston says our footpaths can be outright dangerous. “I nearly lost an eye the other morning. It is half dark now when we walk and many properties have trees hanging down over the footpath. I walked straight into one and was poked in the eye.”

“Footpaths are expensive council assets that are supposed to make it easier for all people - including the elderly, the disabled and those with pushchairs - to get around.  With petrol prices on the rise it is likely more people will be walking. However many of out footpaths are a hazard. Gardens spilling on to paths, low hanging trees, fallen fruit and green waste left lying around make our footpaths slippery and inconvenient.”

Council’s regulatory services manager Sarwan Kumar is asking people to look at the front of their property and clear any overgrowth so footpaths are safe.   “We are getting complaints about entire streets and in some cases whole suburbs with this problem. This can make using footpaths difficult for many people.”

“Trees and flowers are great, but footpaths are for people. Please keep any trees, shrubs and plants on your boundary or overhanging the road clear of the footpath. Walkers need to be able to use the path safely.”

Council staff are currently inspecting footpaths in the city checking for overgrowth from private properties. Brochures are left with residents where vegetation is encroaching on a footpath or verge requesting their assistance to clear it.

“Cuttings and clippings should not be left on the roadside or kerb. They must be removed and disposed of properly. As well as blowing around and making more mess, cuttings and clippings left by the roadside will block drains, which could lead to flooding in the event of rain,” says Mr Kumar.

The public should contact council if they notice any overgrown trees or shrubbery on council-maintained property or road reserves. They can call customer services or use the e-fix form on council’s website.

In extreme cases council can serve notice on offending property owners or remove the vegetation and recover costs.