A Bucks man said he had to 'take matters into his own hands' after an overgrown verge caused several near-miss car crashes.

Colin Dear, 57, from Willow Close in Flackwell Heath, took matters into his own hands last week when he mowed an overgrown roadside verge that had been reducing driver visibility.

He said the verges should have been maintained by Buckinghamshire Council - and described the inaction as "a cost-cutting exercise" that was putting people's lives at risk.

"Over the past few weeks, I noticed that the grass on the verges along our close was very high. We're on the upper part of the road, and as it climbs cars tend to come around it pretty fast.

"There have been bad accidents in the past where cars haven't been able to see other cars coming round. But this year is especially bad and I've seen several near-miss collisions.

"I was convinced that if I didn't do something about it, someone would get killed because of certain verges being left to grow too high and reducing visibility to zero."

Mr Dear added that his frustration grew when, after filling a green bin with grass cuttings from the spot, the council refused to collect it. 

"We're paying the council more tax and getting less. They have a duty to keep things clean and tidy.

"Yes, keeping Flackwell Heath wild is a good thing, but only in the right places, not on fast junctions. The bees and flies already have lots of space in the fields and woodland around here."

Since 2021, Buckinghamshire Council has been trialing a Wilder Road Verges Project, an initiative designed to cater to a variety of wildlife and encourage ecological diversity.

Dominic Barnes, deputy cabinet member for transport project delivery, said the council were sorry that Mr Dear had felt the need to cut the grass himself.

He added that while the council recognise the need to maintain visibility for road users, cutting grass less frequently benefits wildflowers and pollinators as well as allowing money formerly spent on grass-cutting to be used on repairing roads.

"We have a programme of grass cutting on highways twice a year. We have almost completed all of this year's first cut, although we recognise that grass has grown particularly quickly this year because of wet and warm conditions.

"In rural areas, we cut the grass at junctions or where long grass would cause a visibility issue. If a member of the public feels that long grass is causing a safety issue, they can report it through FixMyStreet. We will then address it and, if necessary, take action."

He also said that the council's waste collection crews only collect garden waste from properties who are subscribed to their service, but added that they would be in touch with Mr Dear to resolve this issue.