On the verge of sorting out Welwyn Hatfield’s churned-up grass verges?

DAMAGE to grass verges across our borough IS a major concern, councillors have said.

And residents are being urged to “make every effort” to avoid parking on them.

The admissions were made by county councillor Stuart Pile and borough councillor Colin Couch after the Welwyn Hatfield Times highlighted the disgusting, churned-up mess many verges had become.

The pair issued a joint reply to a letter sent by Welwyn Hatfield Times editor Terry Mitchinson to Hertfordshire County Council chief executive Caroline Tapster and her Welwyn Hatfield Council counterpart Michel Saminaden, right.

They wrote: “Can we start by assuring residents we are also very concerned about the condition of some of our grass verges and we are working together to try and find a way to prevent the cause of this unsightly damage.

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“However, this is a difficult problem that affects many urban areas, where residents have no off street parking and have to park their cars wherever they can.”

The councillors – executive members for highways and transport, and environment respectively – said the problem had grown over the years because of the “huge” increase in the number of vehicles on our roads, and the size of them.

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“Although it is against the law to drive onto and damage the highway verge, the issue of enforcement is far from straightforward,” the letter continued.

“It is vitally important for us to find a way forward to this very real problem which addresses the conflicting demands of residents’ parking needs and large vehicle access in certain streets, together with the need to protect the environment and the look of our streets.

“We reiterate that we are working constructively together through the highway joint members’ panel to try to find a solution to this difficult problem, and we appeal to road users who drive or park on verges to make every effort to avoid doing this in future out of consideration for their fellow residents.”

Mr Mitchinson said: “I’m pleased both councils have accepted there is a problem.

“However, asking people to not park on grass verges is hardly going to make a huge difference.

“Both councils need to come up with concrete (pardon the pun) proposals to solve this issue. We look forward with interest to hearing what these measures will be.

“In the meantime I urge Welwyn Hatfield Times readers to keep us posted on the worst-hit areas and we will continue to forward these to the councils.”

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