Ashton Road clean up

The clean up on Ashton Road, Lancaster.
The clean up on Ashton Road, Lancaster.

Ashton Road residents took matters into their own hands by clearing a busy footpath which blocked their route into Lancaster.

The Deep Cutting stretch of Ashton Road, which runs alongside the A588, became cut off by litter, weeds, debris and overgrown hedges.

Together with North Lancashire Green Party members residents helped clear the pavement which was becoming a dangerous route for walkers.

Green councillor for Scotforth West, Abi Mills, said: “One of the residents raised the issue with the council that it is impossible for people in wheelchairs or with pushchairs to walk along this road. Unfortunately, due to cuts the council couldn’t afford to clear it.”

The footpath sits on the section of the road where drivers sometimes travel through at high speeds.

Local resident John Strivens said the speed limit is widely ignored and the footpath has been dangerously unusable for a number of years.

He said: “Now, thanks to some community action, it is safer for those of us who want to walk children and dogs down to the canal footpath.”

As well as the footpath blocked by overgrown brambles and weeds, hedges from the nearby farm also hang over the pavement leaving pedestrians no choice but to go into the road.

Before the route was cleared William Wilkinson, who lives on Pinewood Close, had to push his children and pram off the kerb.

The dad-of-two said: “I have got children with prams and you can’t get the pram down there, I have one wheel hovering off the road. I don’t see why it isn’t the council’s responsibilty, they do all the other hedges.

“I know they’ve got to budget but I can’t understand what the grounds are because it is a public road.”

Another resident who lives nearby Ashton Road said the footpath has became more overgrown over the last four years.

The 65-year-old said: “Nearly every year I would be ringing the council because it is dangerous, it has been a nightmare.

“It is going to grow back, it shouldn’t be the Green Party’s responsibilty.

“I want to say thank you to the Green Party, they have been fantastic.”

Sim Lane-Dixon, highways manager for Lancaster, said: “We were aware that the hedgerow from the nearby farm was overgrown and hanging over onto the pathway. We liaised with the land owner about this and they agreed to cut it back.

“However, we were not aware of concerns about the soil and weeds building up on the footway itself and affecting people trying to use the pavement. We can take action to remove this from the pavements and would advise anyone to contact our highways team.”