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 Post subject: Vegetation
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 20:02 
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Have we had this one before?

Overgrown vegetation is all too common a cause of poor visibility at junctions, and lurks behind the "obvious" cause of many an accident. It has two forms:

1) Incidental vegatation near the sides of the roads - hedges, bushes, trees. Councils have a responsibility to trim this back, and usually do it once a year, but of course it grows back. Also obscures road signs leading to further inconvenience in the form of missed turnings, missed speed limit changes etc.

2) Vegetation deliberately planted - usually in the middle of roundabouts, central reservations and other traffic islands. Ostensibly there in order to "pretty up" the road environment. Let's assume, to be kind, that this is the real purpose, and then observe that a less desirable side-effect is to reduce visibility at junctions, especially when it is planted right up to a roundabout, forcing all who drive that way to stop, whether or not there is any other traffic - bear in mind that solid "Stop" lines at roundabouts are rare beasts indeed. This increases the risk of rear-end shunts, increases pollution as vehicles will run less efficiently, increases frustration and must contribute to congestion.

Is there a remedy for stupidity such as this?

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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 02:14 
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CJB wrote:
1) Incidental vegatation near the sides of the roads - hedges, bushes, trees. Councils have a responsibility to trim this back, and usually do it once a year, but of course it grows back. Also obscures road signs leading to further inconvenience in the form of missed turnings, missed speed limit changes etc.


I understand councils used to pay local farmers to cut hedges and verges but due to cutbacks it no longer happens.

Quote:
2) Vegetation deliberately planted - usually in the middle of roundabouts, central reservations and other traffic islands. Ostensibly there in order to "pretty up" the road environment.


Some of it is definately planted to deliberately obscure vision in an attempt to slow traffic. I'm not convinced of the benefits.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 18:27 
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Farmers have been discouraged from hedge cutting to promote wildlife for years. This has been applied to the verges as well now.

What they have done around here is just cut near junctions and on corners instead of cutting everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 18:55 
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CJB wrote:
Overgrown vegetation is all too common a cause of poor visibility at junctions, and lurks behind the "obvious" cause of many an accident.

Also with all the vigorous summer growth there are an awful lot of road signs (including speed limit signs) that are currently obscured :x

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:35 
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We get a lot of vegetation around Telford, it's a real problem particularly when it steps from the pavement or gets behind the wheel of a car :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 16:43 
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CJB wrote:
Overgrown vegetation is all too common a cause of poor visibility at junctions, and lurks behind the "obvious" cause of many an accident


And many more accidents are caused by vegetables inside the cars.
Joking aside, they recently cut down many of the old alleys of trees that
used to line French country roads. It wasn't visibility that was the problem - people keep driving into them after colliding with other vehicles or just loosing control. I was once in a car in Wales that flipped over after clipping the curb in heavy snow, and we all went zooming upside down into a forest. I walked away from that one - trees are pretty hard, though - the car was a wreck. We had to get a local farmer up a midnight to pull it out with his tractor and chains. The heater was pretty ineffective on the way home with all the windows blown out. Can't blame the vegetation though!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 20:31 
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Rigpig wrote:
We get a lot of vegetation around Telford, it's a real problem particularly when it steps from the pavement or gets behind the wheel of a car :wink:

I'd noticed - am working in Telford at the moment and doing the M54 run most days.

Actually, an instance that annoys me right now is at a junction of minor roads near my house (in town), where an untrimmed hedge forces drivers emerging from the side road to edge out into the priority road to see when it's clear, and there are near-misses most days. Frightening.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 22:08 
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CJB wrote:
I'd noticed - am working in Telford at the moment and doing the M54 run most days.


Where abouts are you working then?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2004 22:56 
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Matheson House in the town centre. I think I mentioned elsewhere that I work for Capgemini - we recently took over running the IT operation of the Inland Revenue from EDS, and inherited this place (surely the ugliest building in Telford - and there's pretty hot competition) along with several other offices from them.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 16:50 
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CJB wrote:
Have we had this one before?

Overgrown vegetation is all too common a cause of poor visibility at junctions, and lurks behind the "obvious" cause of many an accident. It has two forms:

..............

Is there a remedy for stupidity such as this?

Yes!
Learn to drive.

The vegetation as I know it usually sits still.

Drive to the conditions and only pull out or manouvre when you can see your way.

Job done.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 18:08 
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Chumpy,

Could you please tell that to the numpty who almost ran into the side of me today? I think he was admiring the rare flowers (which were inded standing still, well swaying in the breeze). :twisted: :twisted:

I aught to mention he was well below the 40mph speed limit in force at the time, so I guess if he had hit me it would have been OK.

I avoided him, no thanks to the vegetation, it would have been much less of a close call without it though.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 18:32 
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itschumpionman wrote:
The vegetation as I know it usually sits still.

Drive to the conditions and only pull out or manouvre when you can see your way.

Might it not be better if the highway authorities actually bothered to trim the vegetation so road users could see their way better?

Or would road safety be improved if drivers had to use blinkers?

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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 13:02 
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PeterE wrote:
itschumpionman wrote:
The vegetation as I know it usually sits still.

Drive to the conditions and only pull out or manouvre when you can see your way.

Might it not be better if the highway authorities actually bothered to trim the vegetation so road users could see their way better?

Or would road safety be improved if drivers had to use blinkers?



Chumps - trimming hedges equates to duty of care. If hedge is overgrown at T-junction and you have to edge forwards to see past it - that is dangerous to all road users.

Similarly - the have obligation to ensure speed limit lollipops are clealry visible and not hidden behind foliage - as as been seen on one road in LanCASH£re


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 14:17 
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Mad Moggie wrote:
PeterE wrote:
itschumpionman wrote:
The vegetation as I know it usually sits still.

Drive to the conditions and only pull out or manouvre when you can see your way.

Might it not be better if the highway authorities actually bothered to trim the vegetation so road users could see their way better?

Or would road safety be improved if drivers had to use blinkers?



Chumps - trimming hedges equates to duty of care. If hedge is overgrown at T-junction and you have to edge forwards to see past it - that is dangerous to all road users.

Similarly - the have obligation to ensure speed limit lollipops are clealry visible and not hidden behind foliage - as as been seen on one road in LanCASH£re

I agree entirely with trimming hedges and ensuring that visibility is maximised but motorists and members of forums such as this are always ready to look about feverishly to find an excuse for their poor driving and for something else to blame for their accident.
The driver has a "duty of care" and this is more immediate and relevant than drivers blaming local authorities and highways maintenance for their own shorcomings.
It is also entirely wrong to suggest that signing is being deliberately covered up or omitted to catch out the motorist. Your comments regarding destroy any credibility you think you may have.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 15:26 
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itschampionman wrote:
Mad Moggie wrote:
PeterE wrote:
itschumpionman wrote:
The vegetation as I know it usually sits still.

Drive to the conditions and only pull out or manouvre when you can see your way.

Might it not be better if the highway authorities actually bothered to trim the vegetation so road users could see their way better?

Or would road safety be improved if drivers had to use blinkers?



Chumps - trimming hedges equates to duty of care. If hedge is overgrown at T-junction and you have to edge forwards to see past it - that is dangerous to all road users.

Similarly - the have obligation to ensure speed limit lollipops are clealry visible and not hidden behind foliage - as as been seen on one road in LanCASH£re

I agree entirely with trimming hedges and ensuring that visibility is maximised but motorists and members of forums such as this are always ready to look about feverishly to find an excuse for their poor driving and for something else to blame for their accident.
The driver has a "duty of care" and this is more immediate and relevant than drivers blaming local authorities and highways maintenance for their own shorcomings.
It is also entirely wrong to suggest that signing is being deliberately covered up or omitted to catch out the motorist. Your comments regarding destroy any credibility you think you may have.



Not saying they are deliberately trying to catch out the driver - merely pointing out that if there is an obligation to ensure these lollipops are clearly visible at all times.

It is not good enough to allow foliage to overgrow to such extent that signs become invisible. There are one or two such overgrown hedgegrows here in Cumbria - and these obscure the lollipops too.

Similarly - we pay enough taxes to pay for maintenance of hedgegrows and road surface repairs (am I alone in noting increase in pot holes and worn through road surfaces here?).

All have responsibility for ensuring safety. I am responsible for crossing the road in manner which does not endanger myself and others, just the same as my responsibility when I am driving my car, riding my bikes, or even my horse! I am also responsible for ensuring that my children are borught up to do likewise.

By this same token - like yourself, our Paulie, IG and everyone else in country - I pay out great wadges of my hard earned dosh in direct, indirect, stealth and other daylight robbery - aka taxation :roll: This. so I am led to believe, is supposed to be used for providing a number of services as required by a modern, civilised and successful state. These services - in accordance with government obligation of duty of care - include basic road safety measures such as repairing the roads, cutting hedges, providing policemen on patrol....

Er - remind me again what we actually get .... OH YES! A speed camera! No proper driver education adverts, pedestrian education adverts, little incentive for numptiies to improve either, NO trafpols, overgrown hedges and road surfaces which make old Stasi German road surfaces appear smooth and sleek.

Attention to above shortcomings would do much towards instant improvement on the roads if implemented tomorrow ... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetation
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 16:14 
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Mad Moggie wrote:
(am I alone in noting increase in pot holes and worn through road surfaces here?).


A large number of the roads in this country are in a sorry state, and things are only going to get worse. Budgets that could be used to repair roads are instead spent on traffic 'calming' and the like - basically using up the budget to ensure that they get more money next year. And I'm sure that it's only an infinitessimal fraction of road tax and fuel duty that goes towards the upkeep of the roads. (I have no facts to back this up, sorry :P)

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 Post subject: Vegetation
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 18:28 
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Those of us who travel 36,000 miles every year and more, can confirm that maintenance of road surfaces and the control of roadside banks and hedgerows has deteriorated in recent years. One of the most bizarre scenes to be witnessed on the motorways are strimming crews attempting to strim the banks. A more pointless activity it is hard to imagine. The total area of motorway banks is measured in tens of thousands of acres and these crews will manage a few square yards or meters at most leaving nature to do its thing everywhere else. Yet while this wasted effort on the motorway takes place the hedges along our A and B roads grow unmolested. One of the worst effects of this abandonment to nature is the consumption of the footpaths along side the road. The pedestrians are thus forced to walk ever closer to the carriageway and in severe cases in the road. There is a strong suspicion amongst the cynics in society that the contractors have too close a relationship with the people in local government who authorise the pointless work activity such as strimming the motorways and applying ever more paint to our road surfaces.
If only the same amount of money was spent on removing bends and widening carriageways we would all be much happier motorists and feel easier about the >£45billion paid into the treasury by the motoring activity each year.
RJ

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