Carnforth told to remove planters and banners due to health and safety
Council officers have angered Carnforth residents after announcing they are to remove plant boxes and banners from the town on health and safety grounds.
Carnforth Town Council has now been asked to look for alternative spots for its planters – or faces refunding local businesses who sponsored them if alternative locations cannot be found.
Town clerk Bob Bailey said on Facebook that the county council was behind the removal.
He said: “They have advised that banners are continously being removed from around the county on safety grounds (motorists being distracted by them for example).
“The local community will know that as part of the town council’s vision to keep the town looking welcoming and beautiful for tourists and residents alike, a decision was taken a couple of years ago to fix planters to several guardrails around the town centre.
“We regularly receive positive comments about them and we know that they have given much pleasure since they have been in place.
“Sadly, however, Lancashire County Council Highways & Transportation have now instructed that the planters must be removed because they are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.
“Reluctantly, the town council has no option but to comply with this instruction and the planters will be removed from the guardrails over the comming weeks.
“Alternative locations will be considered at the next Town Development & Planning meeting. If you have any ideas about where they could be re-located or have other suggestions on how we can continue to enhance our local environment, we would be very happy to hear from you.
“Any organisation who has kindly sponsored a planter will be refunded if an alternative or suitable location cannot be found.”
One Guardian reader said the decision was “health and safety gone mad”.
She said: “Lancashire County Council are taking down all flower planters due to distracting motorists so being a health and safety risk, yet you can’t get onto the motorway junction at Carnforth from Kellet safely because the council don’t cut the grass by the junction roundabout.
“I see people every day walk down the road on the A6 to Bolton-le-Sands because the hedge is over the pavement. This is health and safety gone mad.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Pedestrian guardrails are provided for road safety purposes and designed to be see-through so that drivers can see pedestrians as they approach crossing points - we don’t allow anything to be attached to them which could obscure sightlines, or which overhangs the road.
“We have advised the town council where planters would be appropriate, and offered at least one alternative location for them.
“We have also offered to work with them to look at locating hanging baskets attached to private buildings.
“Many of the hedges along the A6 are privately owned, however we will carry out an inspection and ask the owners to cut them back if we find any that are causing an obstruction.”