US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

25/6/09: Verges: public amenity, not private driveways

Grass verge damage in Barnehurst, Bexley Borough.

Grass verges are presumably Council property. They are a public amenity which add to the attraction of living in a suburban area. They are certainly maintained by the Council using taxpayer's money. Yet no action appears to be taken over the numerous examples of damage caused by residents widening entranceways - having turned great chunks of their front gardens into sterile car parks - and using parts of verges as driveways.

If a bunch of teenage hoodies came round digging up the verges, leaving unsightly scars, there would no doubt be uproar and calls for police action. But since it's all down to 'respectable' car-drivers, nothing happens.

If a bunch of young people came round after dark and dug up chunks of verge like this there would be calls for action

Unfortunately, it may be better not to take this up with the Council, since I fear the response is more likely to favour cars by chucking tarmac over affected areas than asking offenders to please 'keep off the grass'. At least while the earth's still there, future restoration is fairly straightforward.

Allowing vegetation in the rear half of verges to grow longer, improving wildlife interest and value, would help offset loss of gardens to car parks and might just make them look less inviting to drive over than a flat, frequently mown-to-the-ground surface. Let's have more green and less grey!

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