Northampton street told to take Union Jack flags down as they were a ‘hazard’

Michelle Young took this snap of the bunting on her street in Billing - just days before she was told to take the bunting down for being a road 'hazard'.
Michelle Young took this snap of the bunting on her street in Billing - just days before she was told to take the bunting down for being a road 'hazard'.
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Council red tape put paid to a show of patriotic pride on one Northampton street after its reams of bunting were deemed an accident risk.

Residents of Valley Road in Billing had clubbed together to put up the Union Jack and St George’s flags for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Organiser and pre-school worker, Michelle Young, 37, had hoped to keep the picturesque bunting, tied to the tops of lampposts, up for the Euro 2016 football championship too.

But the street has now had to take all the flags down after county council highways officers told its residents the flags were a potential hazard to users of the public highway.

A letter to mum-of-four, Mrs Young said: “Should an accident occur and they are deemed a contributory factor there may be issues of liability for you having placed them across the highway.

“If you are responsible for having erected the bunting/flags we would ask that they are removed with immediate effect.”

Mrs Young says she is saddened by the order.

“There was nothing touching them, nothing going under them, they were high enough for the bin lorries o go under them, we just can’t understand this,” she said.

The residents of Valley Road held a street party for the Queen’s birthday on Sunday, June 12. Billing Parish Council has told the Chronicle & Echo it had no objections to the flags going up.

But a Northamptonshire County Council highways spokesman said they were alerted to the flags by a member of the public.

“We received a complaint about some bunting in Valley Road, Billing, which did not have permission from our highways department,” he said.

“While we don’t want to discourage residents from demonstrating community spirit, there are safety regulations about hanging bunting over the public highway and therefore we have asked for it to be taken down.”