A COUNCILLOR has blasted his own council over ‘unsafe’ grass verges which he says are forcing pedestrians and cyclists to walk in the road.

Liam Walker, Oxfordshire county councillor for the Hanborough and Minster Lovell division, said he receives ‘almost daily’ complaints from road users ‘concerned about pedestrian safety’.

The situation relates to the stretch of footpath that runs alongside the A4095 between Long Hanborough and Bladon.

Mr Walker said ‘numerous complaints’ have been lodged to the county council by both parish councils and residents after grass verges ‘became so overgrown in some places, it’s impossible to pass’.

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He added: “Along with Hanborough Parish Council, we raised the wild look of the verges with Oxfordshire County Council highways officers on June 2, and still the issue hasn’t been resolved.

“It’s currently very difficult and unsafe in places for pedestrians and cyclists to pass, resulting in some people opting to walk on the road.

“The new coalition now running Oxfordshire County Council has been saying for some time that Oxfordshire needs better foot and cycleways.

“Well now it’s time to deliver on this and I suggest they work on getting the basics right first.”

A spokesperson for the county council said: “Oxfordshire County Council will typically cut the grass verges around the county’s road networks once a year.

“However, the exceptionally wet spring increased the growth of vegetation across the county and so we are in the process of monitoring progress of this year’s programme and will deal with any safety-related growth at the earliest appropriate time.

“It should be noted that the weather last year was exceptionally dry, which suppressed growth.”

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An anonymous resident used FixMyStreet to report ‘tall grass in the cycle path’ between Long Hanborough and Bladon.

The complaint, posted on June 14, read: “Overgrown grass and weeds are overhanging into the cycling path from Bladon to Long Hanborough.

“It pushes the cyclist into the main road, in the opposite direction.

“It has been getting worse and worse as more grass is falling into the path.”

The report was however sent to West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC), which is not responsible for such matters.

The county council uses FixMyStreet so road and street problems can be reported.

In the past month, the county council has fixed 647 problems.

To report a problem, users enter a postcode or street name, locate it on the map, and enter the details.

WODC is the local authority responsible for litter and street cleaning, however responsibility for grass verges and roadside vegetation lies with the county council.

A spokesperson for the district council said the matter lies with the county council.