On the verge!

GRASS verges throughout a town could be covered in concrete to combat damage caused by vehicles. North Hertfordshire District Council has singled out grassy areas in Letchworth GC, spoilt by vehicles parking on them, and has proposed concreting over 17 of

GRASS verges throughout a town could be covered in concrete to combat damage caused by vehicles.

North Hertfordshire District Council has singled out grassy areas in Letchworth GC, spoilt by vehicles parking on them, and has proposed concreting over 17 of the problem patches to provide more parking.

In reaction to this, councillor for Letchworth South West, Lynda Needham, said: "What I'm concerned about is that this is a garden city and part of the original idea for the town was that the roads should be tree-lined and have grass verges.

"The main thing is to make sure the garden city principles are not eroded, but I acknowledge people have cars.

"We have to somehow find a solution but I'm not convinced that concreting is the answer."

Areas earmarked for concreting include eight spots in Mullway, three in Icknield Way, three in Western Way, two in Monklands and one area in Baldock Road.

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NHDC has also proposed a further reduction of greenery by suggesting lay bys in Bedford Road, Archers Way and Glebe Road should be created.

Councillor for Letchworth South East, David Levett, said: "I'm very much against getting rid of the grass verges. This is a garden city and it should be a last resort."

And councillor for Letchworth South West, Melissa Davey, said: "It's not something I would be keen on seeing. I think there are other solutions we could look at."

Bollards and knee rails have also been suggested by NHDC, for a number of the problem patches of grass.

Although the proposed solutions have been devised by NHDC, Hertfordshire Highways has also given its recommendations for the same sites.

NHDC maintain grass, trees and shrubs on the verges but any changes and developments are ultimately the responsibility of Hertfordshire Highways.

Despite NHDC labelling three sections in Western Way as a high priority, requiring concreting, Hertfordshire Highways perceives there to be no serious problem there.

For none of the problem areas has Hertfordshire Highways recommended concrete as a solution, but has suggested deterrents such as bollards or fencing instead.

A spokesman for North Hertfordshire District Council said: "Concreting has been a bit of a trend lately but it is done sensitively.

"As far as the residents are concerned, the need is for more strategically placed lay bys.

"It's the changing requirements of the modern citizen."

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, director general Stuart Kenny told The Comet: "As I understand it, these proposals relate to land under the control of Hertfordshire Highways, but maintained by North Herts District Council. The Heritage Foundation therefore has no locus.

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