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Harlow landowners asked by council to cut over-hanging trees

Communities / Fri 18th Sep 2015 at 11:01am

LANDOWNERS responsible for trees which overhang roads or pavements are being asked to check branches and cut back if required in preparation for autumn storms.

Essex County Council is reminding landowners they should make sure their trees do not pose a threat to motorists and pedestrians and they have a duty of care to take responsible steps to prevent the risk of injury or damage.

Strong winds make it more likely trees will shed branches or even blow over altogether, blocking the highway and potentially putting lives at risk.

The Council has the power to issue enforcement notices to landowners with branches and vegetation found to be obstructing the highway, compelling them to carry out any necessary work if they do not ensure trees and vegetation on their land is safe.

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Small Scheme Delivery, Cllr Eddie Johnson said: “The most common safety problems come from overhanging branches reducing the road width, blocking sightlines and road signs, as well as reducing height clearance for tall vehicles such as double decker school buses.

“Overhanging trees also hamper our ability to carry out planned roadworks, effectively lengthening delays and inconvenience to drivers.”

People are advised to ensure the footway is clear of vegetation to a height of 8ft (2.5m) and the road is clear to a height of 17ft (5.1m) and 1.8ft (0.5m) from the edge of the road towards their property.

The Council is recommending the use of fully qualified and insured contractors to undertake any necessary work.

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