The angry residents on Latimer Road in Chesham gave the authorities an ultimatum if their safety concerns are not addressed.

Those living along Latimer Road near the Holloway Lane junction threatened to take matters into their own hand, and clear the overgrown hedges after safety concern for pedestrians forced onto the road.

The action was prompted by events resident Will Davis witnessed while out jogging on May 21.  

Mr Davis said: “There was a man clearing the path, saying the Council isn’t doing anything.

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“His 12-year-old daughter has to cross the road on a bend or walk on the road because of the overgrowth.”

“It’s an accident or a tragedy waiting to happen.

“It’s part of the Chess Valley walk, so you do see a lot of ramblers there.”

Initially there was confusion whether Thames Water, Bucks Council or Chesham Town Council was responsible for the clearance. 

Maintaining the footpath in Latimer Road is now a devolved matter for the Chesham Town Council. 

Mr Davis wasn't interested who does the job, as long as it's done. 

While the road has a 30mph sign – which is overgrown at places – Mr Davis said drivers go way faster than that.

Bucks Free Press: The vegetation along Latimer Road. The vegetation along Latimer Road.

Seeing what the man was doing “lit a fire” in Mr Davis, who is a father himself.

He made some phone calls, and organised a meeting with other residents, the chair of Waterside Community Association and Chesham town councillors on a Latimer Road lay-by for Tuesday (May 24).

The residents told that unless nothing has been done or scheduled to be done by June 10, the residents will have to “reclaim the footpath themselves through direct action”.

Councillors Joseph Baum, Emily Culverhouse and Gareth Williams issued a joint statement after the meeting: “Since being elected 12 months ago we have been working hard to deliver on a number of priorities for residents in Waterside – from resurfacing four major local roads to fighting against inappropriate planning applications.

“Making sure that our roads and footpaths are safe for pedestrians and other road users is absolutely essential and it was clear from meeting with residents on Tuesday evening that urgent action is needed to ensure that this safety is not compromised on Latimer Road.

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“With the responsibility for maintaining the footpath on Latimer Road having now been devolved to Chesham Town Council, we are working with the Council’s parks and premises team to ensure that this work is undertaken as a matter of urgency.”

Yesterday (May 26) the Town Council parks and premises were on Latimer Road to begin clearing the overgrown vegetation, councillor Baum told Bucks Free Press, only days after the residents’ emergency meeting.

He added that “all other work that the Town Council's parks and premises team are scheduled to undertake as part of their normal busy schedule will be put on hold until after this work has been completed.”