COUNCIL bosses have been slammed after 'overgrown and dangerous' bushes near main roads have caused safety fears across East Lancashire.

Paula Duxbury from Cliviger, has hit out at Lancashire County Council after being forced to avoid walking down Burnley Road due to encroaching vegetation.

The mother-of-one, who has her own cleaning business, said the problem lies on both sides and travels a long distance up the road towards Burnley.

Mrs Duxbury said the ever-growing issue has angered a lot of residents and has been a dilemma for two months.

Other areas of East Lancashire have also faced a similar issue, with roads in Wilpshire, Langho, and Whalley becoming overgrown and blocking off public footpaths.

Mrs Duxbury said: "It's got to the point now where I cannot walk my 19-month-old boy, Jasper, to the shops because it would mean walking onto the road.

"The road is supposed to be a 'slow-zone' but cars fly down there at high speeds and I'm not going to put my childs safety at risk.

"They are overgrown and dangerous and the bushes need to be cut back."

A county council spokesman said its the responsibility of landowners to maintain hedges on their land.

Cllr David Heginbotham, who represents Cliviger on Burnley Borough Council, said: "This problem does come from bushes only being cut once a year during the end of the summer.

"Unfortunately it's a very difficult issue because birds and other animals use hedges and bushes for nesting in, and you can't destroy their habitat.

"But they can become a problem and become dangerous,"

Cllr Ged Mirfin, who represents Billington and Old Langho on Ribble Valley Borough Council, said: "The wet and hot weather we have had recently has seen a quick surge in plant growth.

"It can become a problem very quickly and I urge land owners to be aware of blocking of paths and drivers sight."

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: "We've recently been made aware of some overhanging bushes obstructing a section of Burnley Road.

"We're currently investigating who owns the land, as the landowner is responsible for their upkeep.

"We'll take appropriate action once we know who this is.

"It is usual practice for bushes to be cut back from the end of the summer as not to disturb birds during the nesting season.

"At the same time, and allowing for expected seasonal growth of hedgerows, there should be over a metre of clearance left for people to safely use the footway, and we will inspect these locations to see if any further action is needed."