Blog: Overgrown verges are hiding hazards on our roads

The wet weather has led to more overgrown verges.

The wet weather has led to more overgrown verges. - Credit: Andy Russell

There's another hazard driving on country roads at this time of year, says motoring editor Andy Russell. Rampant vegetation on verges can easily hide hazards.

All this warm, wet and humid weather has seen the verges and hedgerows on country roads springing up and sprouting lush green vegetation which is making for tricky driving and riding.

Cow parsley is rampant at this time of year and, while the white flowers on the tall stems look pretty along verges, it also makes coming out of junctions pretty difficult.

Even with the added visibility from sitting higher on a motorcycle, you struggle to see past all the vegetation and really need to come to a complete halt as far forward as possible to check and double check if the road is clear and safe to emerge on to.

Unfortunately maintaining verges has fallen victim to many councils having to save money – not cutting verges to cut back budgets.


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Overgrown verges, bushes and trees on country roads can block your view at junctions and through a series of bends, hide signs and potentially obscure an oncoming hazard so always drive at a speed which will allow you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear – double that on a single track road. And also allow more time to stop on wet or slippy surfaces.

Remember, the speed limit is a limit not a target and at times you need to driver slower than the limit when the conditions demand. There will be times you need to drive under that to drive correctly for the conditions. The national speed limit on single carriage roads is 60mph but the average free flow speed is 48mph.

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My grandfather always used to say 'Better to arrive late in this world than early in the next.' Wise words.

Have you had a near-miss or an accident at a junction due to overgrown verges? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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