Criminals doing unpaid work were unable to cut back hedges on a problem Northamptonshire road because there was no nearby toilets, a parish council chairman has said.
Pitsford Parish Council requested that the probation service sent along people who have been convicted of minor offences to cut back undergrowth along Brampton Lane so pedestrians would not have to walk on the 50mph road.
But one of the reasons for the refusal was that the workers needed proper facilities.
Maureen Holliday, chair of the parish council, said: “One of the reasons was that they couldn’t close the road and, in that case, it would have been a health and safety issue for them.
“But another reason was that they wouldn’t have had anywhere to go to the toilet or for a rest break.
“In my opinion they could easily have gone to the playing fields.
“The problem is that it’s a fast road that already has a narrow pavement and there’s not much of that left now.
“It has been an issue for quite some time now and we just want someone to realise how dangerous it is.”
The parish council has struggled over the last six years to get Northamptonshire County Council or the probation service to cut back the hedges and grass verge.
Villagers have been concerned that pedestrians, particularly dog walkers or parents with child buggies, would be forced onto the road.
As recently as its May meeting, the parish council wrote to the police asking for them to raise the issue following a fatal accident at Boughton involving a pedestrian.
They also campaigned unsuccessfully for a reduction in the speed limit to 40mph.
Northamptonshire County Council said yesterday it planned to address the issue.
A County Hall spokesman said: “The overgrown vegetation in Brampton Lane has been brought to our attention and an inspector will be visiting the site in the next day or two.
“In the first instance we will get our contractors to carry out strimming of the grass to clear the path.”
Nobody was available for comment from the Bedford Probation Service, which runs the unpaid work gangs for Northamptonshire.