Express & Star

Overgrown alleyways in Dudley branded 'dangerous'

Overgrown alleyways in Dudley have been branded “dangerous” as residents claim they are “almost impossible to walk through”.

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Overgrown areas in Upper Gornal and Woodsetton. Photo: Adrian Hughes

One local resident said the situation is deteriorating fast and “nothing is being done about it”.

In response, Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm said: “We have invested a million pounds into unblocking alleyways in a new contract just launched this year and we are very proud of that.”

But local elderly Coseley resident Brian Hinton says he is scared of attempting to walk through the alleyways near his home in case he trips and falls.

“The hedgerow and alleyways are all overgrown," said Mr Hinton.

“Outside my house there’s an alleyway and weeds are growing through the paving slabs. It’s dangerous for people to walk up there, and nothing is being done about it.

“Anyone who tries to raise these issues just gets shouted down. That added to the fly-tipping and it’s all just one huge mess.”

At a council cabinet meeting this month, Upper Gornal and Woodsetton councillor Adrian Hughes said local residents were feeling “fed up and ignored.”

“The level of street and green care in recent weeks has been abysmal," he said.

“Try to walk down any alleyway in Upper Gornal and Woodsetton and many are impassible due to overgrowth. Streets are full of weeds, drains are blocked and the quest for action takes weeks before you even get a reply. Residents are feeling fed up and ignored.”

In a separate statement, the council has said it is aware of the problem and will be dealing with it through the winter months.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm, said: “As a council, we are responsible for maintaining well over 4,000 individual green spaces across the borough, which cover approximately nine million square metres.

“All of the six locations the complaint refers to are included in our winter works programme, which is now underway.”