The problem with grass verges

Among the top four subjects for discussion at parish council meetings is one you would not have expected – the use (or abuse) of grass verges.
It seems to cause more annoyance, and more dismay, than a lot of other subjects put together…

Torn up

In this day and age, when so many households have more than one car, one small driveway per house is often not enough.

So, many motorists, particularly on the Uttoxeter Road – the main road going through Draycott – and on Sandon Road – the main road going through Cresswell – park their cars, not by the side of the road, but on the grass verges.
Naturally, this tears up the grass.

Cresswell grass verge

This grass verge in Cresswell is virtually just mud

And why do the parish council find this such a problem? Because many residents write to them saying how unsightly and untidy this makes the area look.

Legal

The point is that: it is not illegal to park on verges. The police may knock on your door if they think your car is blocking a view of the highway, but this isn’t likely in Draycott or Cresswell.
(It is an offence to park on the pavement though. That can attract a £30 fine).

The council has investigated the possibility of growing small trees or shrubs in the verges, and even placing white posts on them – but South Moorlands District council, who would be responsible in putting in these things, say they are opposed to such measures.    It seems like they think they will be vandalised, and should only be used in extreme cases.

So nothing is done.

White post

One Draycott householder has clearly decided that enough is enough – and has been able to have a white post installed.

Bizarrely, we do know of one instance where a householder put a potted shrub out on a verge – and was ordered by SMDC to remove it. It was classed as a ‘trip hazard’!

Parking

The question is: why don’t motorists simply park in the road by the kerb, instead of pulling up on to the verge?
Well, believe it or not, many motorists think this is a considerate way to do things.

We had an interesting discussion in the pub where a motorist explained to us why he parks on the verge.
“If you park in the road, passing cars have to pull round you, and with the speed they do, especially on Uttoxeter Road, this can be dangerous to oncoming traffic.

parking

Is this inconsiderate, or considerate, parking?

“In Cresswell, it is even worse, because the main road through there is quite narrow in parts, and they come whizzing round the bend coming from the top, so if they have to swerve to avoid a parked car, that could cause an accident.”
There are also insurance reasons for not parking in the road.

(It would be interesting to ask the police if they think parking on verges really is a safer option).

verges at upper newton farm

A solution to the problem?

Perhaps the best solution is to do what Upper Newton Farm have done – and put out small notices (pictured above).
To avoid the signs being classed as ‘trip hazards’ it might be as well to place them nearer the kerb though. (We will have to ask SMDC’s advice…)

Walking news

One good piece of news on verges though…
We want to say a big Thank-You to the highways team (or, was it the farmer?) who recently cut back all the undergrowth blocking the side of the road between Cresswell and The Hunter pub.

Sandon Road verge

There is now a cleared space for walkers between Cresswell and The Hunter pub

It was a dangerous route for a pedestrian before, as you had to walk in the road, but now there is plenty of room on the verge for a walker.    It makes a pint at The Hunter a little less hazardous!

***
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6 responses to “The problem with grass verges

  1. Police verges view

    Here is another thought to chuck in your pot.

    he community police officer says – sometimes it’s better to park on the verges because it is safer to do when fast traffic is around. He mentioned Uttoxeter Road by name

    Eddie

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  2. Fascinating debate

    This is a fascinating debate!

    Yes, if you park in the road, it forces speeding traffic to slow down. BUT it could make speeding traffic just waeve around your parked car, which is dangerous.
    THOUGH, if you park on the verge, it looks really messy, and you are blocking public space (as the previous correspondent says).

    I would say – park on the verge in Cresswell, where the road has a blind hump at the top and the sandon road is too narrow.
    BUT, on Uttoxeter Road, park in the road as it wil slow the crazier motorists down.

    William de Draycott

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  3. Mind your own business!

    May I suggest that instead of wandering around outside other peoples property, you get a day job and worry about your own sad little lives instead of moaning about what other people are doing.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else where I park my car on MY property, and from the angle of one of these photos you must of been stood on my property to get the picture
    ….trespassing ? Neighbour hood watch ……? interfering busy bodies with nothing better to do more like.

    deeann

    Editor’s note: We are not sure what photo you mean: none of the photos, we are sure, was taken while standing on anyone’s property.

    Like

    • Deeann,

      You are confused. You can park your car anywhere you like on your own property, as you say.

      But the grass verges and the pavement belong to Highways. The reason the parish council get involved in al this is because the verges and pavements are a public area.

      JD

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  4. considerate parking?

    Re considerate parking. I don’t think so.
    The owner of the car – it does look quite new – is only showing consideration for him/herself, parked 2/3 of the way across the pavement forcing pedestrians into the road. No consideration that a blind person may be walking along.
    Maureen

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  5. We are hoping to get white verge posts installed by the highways agency outside some of the houses on Sandon Road. You have to suggest to them that you are interested and would like them to be installed. They do not have to be permanent but can be there until the verge is restored.
    Verges that spill mud on to the pavement cause hazards for pedestrians!
    Some people do actually block the pavement with their cars which I think could be illegal as it forces pedestrians to walk in to the road.

    It is probably better to park in the road. If cars do park on the road it does have an effect of slowing traffic down. I don’t think you are breaking the law parking on the road during daylight hours. It is up to passing motorists to drive with due care and attention. If they take risks it is their problem. We have had one vehicle traveling at 90 to 100 miles an hour through Cresswell !!

    Cresswell Community Group

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