Slippery leaves on Norwich streets spark public safety concerns

Autumn leaves have sparked safety concerns.

Autumn leaves have sparked safety concerns. - Credit: Evening News © 2008

Council bosses have defended their approach to clearing leaves from Norwich streets, after opposition councillors raised concerns they pose a danger because they are not swept up often enough.

The problem of slippery leaves was raised at a meeting of Norwich City Council.

Stephen Little, Green councillor for Town Close ward, said: 'Every autumn the leaves fall and cause a slip hazard on residential streets in the city, such as Sigismund Road or Beaumont Place.

'This is a particular problem for those with limited mobility or who need to use pushchairs, but the council only clears each street once or twice in the season.'

The Labour-controlled city council confirmed the majority of roads are cleared twice each autumn, but said further clearances would be carried out if 'accumulations' of leaves were reported.

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Keith Driver, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: 'The council has a leaf clearance programme which is designed to be flexible and is adjusted to when and where accumulations of leaves occur.

'Most roads are cleared of significant leaf fall twice during the autumn. Where it is known that leaves can create a slip hazard, such as Beaumont Place, these are monitored to ensure the slip hazard is removed.

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'If anybody has concerns about accumulations of leaves I would urge them to report it to us and arrangements will be made to clear the leaves, normally within 24 hours.'

In 2001, Norwich City Council made national headlines when it threatened to chop down horse chestnut trees, because of the risk posed by conkers.

The council said children could be hurt throwing sticks to knock down the conkers, the mulch from the conker cases could be slippery and conkers could fall on cars.

The proposal caused outrage among families at Bluebell Road, who eventually won their battle to save the trees.

• Do you think enough is done to keep Norwich's streets clear of leaves? Write, giving full contact details to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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