Westhoughton councillors have asked if community payback teams can help to cut back overgrown grass verges on pavements saying in some cases they pose a road safety issue.

Cllr David Wilkinson has contacted the Highways Department to see if improvement works can be carried to cut back grass which has grown onto pavements overtime causing there to be less walking space.

He said the pavements in Westhoughton where the worst overgrowing is along the A6, Manchester Road, Chorley Road, Hindley Road, Lower Leigh Road, and both Wigan Roads.

Speaking about the pavements, Cllr Wilkinson said: “The bad overgrown pavements are all over Westhoughton and no doubt they are probably all over Bolton as well.

“And most of them are the pavements that are alongside the grass verges, some are like no man’s land.

“What you get is an accumulation of grass and leaves which build ups and doesn’t get swept away which then has more grass growing and you end up with about five or six inches pushing into the pavement space.

Read more of our top stories here:

The Bolton News: The pavement on the A6The pavement on the A6 (Image: Cllr David Wilkinson)“This then brings a three-foot footpath down to two foot and in some places, it is so severe that it can take away a couple of feet off the footpath, and they are all over Westhoughton.

“Hot spots include the A6 at the side of what was the Hulton estate, Manchester Road, Chorley Road, Hindley Road, Lower Leigh Road, and both Wigan Roads.

“The causes can be where the council may have stopped cutting edges, but some of it is also on private land.

“Over the years budgets have been chipped at and in these locations because there may not be vast amounts of people walking there you lose footpaths.

“It is a road safety issue in areas because if you are walking along, and you may have a pram, suddenly you’re against a main road where HGV’s drive and where there can often be a heavy volume of traffic.

“Because they are not all in one place and because it is has been a while since these pavements have been cleared, there is a large amount of material to move so I have asked the assistant director of the Highways department whether community payback can be done to cut back bushes, scrape off the mud and try to get the footpaths back so it makes it safer.

“I’m waiting to hear back from Highways to see if this is something that can be done, even if it is a programme where they can work their way round.

“People do get in touch with me to highlight their concerns regarding the footpaths, the people who do walk in those locations to get to and from work and to drop their children off at school, it is a problem for them because footpaths have shrunk making people walk near the edge of footpaths when there is traffic driving passed.”

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.