Overgrown roundabouts a driving ‘hazard’ in Cirencester

THERE are concerns that overgrown verges and roundabouts are posing a hazard for drivers in Cirencester and making the town look unkempt.

Calls are being made to tidy up some of the green spaces, particularly the Waitrose roundabout.

While grass cutting in this area is the responsibility of Gloucestershire County Council, volunteers and businesses are being asked to take up Mr Roundabout, Tony Curry’s, mantle.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Mr Roundabout Tony CurryMr Roundabout Tony Curry

Tony voluntarily cut the grass at a number of roundabouts in the town until his death almost exactly a year ago.

Resident and town trader Candice Beard is frustrated the grass has been allowed to grow this long.

“I’ve lived here for over 20 years now and this year seems particularly worse,” she said.

“It’s starting to cover the signs it’s just ridiculous. Visibility is poor. A lot of people have been complaining about it.

“We are the heart of the Cotswolds and the future king of England lives in Tetbury and drives through here.

“Clearly they know it’s going to grow like this. It’s not a surprise.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Candice Beard next to the Waitrose roundaboutCandice Beard next to the Waitrose roundabout

Candice now wants others to take matters into their own hands and has suggested local businesses could sponsor a roundabout, displaying an advertisement in return for being responsible for maintenance.

The idea came to her when thinking of ways to raise the profile of her family’s own business, Paul Beard Ltd Windows and Doors, and similar sponsorship agreements are in place elsewhere in the county.

‘Let’s not wait for something awful to happen’

“We’ve got such community spirit in Cirencester, people would be willing,” Candice added.

“Let’s not wait for something awful to happen. There could be a pilot scheme. Other towns and villages manage it, why can’t we?

“We could have a local school design something, there are so many things we could do.

There’s obviously people out there who are interested.

“It’s just how do you start this process and get it going?”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Long grass next to the Waitrose roundaboutLong grass next to the Waitrose roundabout

Responding to Candice’s concerns on Facebook, Cirencester mayor Sabrina Dixon said: “Unfortunately, different verges and roundabouts are owned by different councils and co-ordinated wildflower planting, wildlife corridors, maintenance etc is easier said than done.

“We all have different budgets, priorities and thoughts on what everything ‘should’ look like.

“It’s one of my aims to get together all the interested councillors and relevant staff members from each council and sort out what we do.

“This will not happen overnight.

“My big ask for the time being is, no matter how tempting and well-meaning it is, please do not go about anything yourselves.

You need to be insured and you may not be aware of plans, particular things that have been planted, whether staff will be turning up anyway to mow that day after.

“There are voluntary groups in Cirencester, eg the Phoenix Gardeners, that councils work with and liaising with these is much simpler to co-ordinate.”

READ MORE: Explore gorgeous estate with woods, lakes and walks near Cirencester

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire County Council added: “We thank residents for raising their concerns over this issue in Cirencester.

“We have already begun our visibility cut programme, which focusses on junctions and sharp corners throughout the county.

“Further grass cutting in Cirencester, which includes the A429, will take place in June.

“Residents can report any issues on the highways network directly to our team by visiting gloucestershire.gov.uk/highways/roads/your-highways-report-it.”

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