Trees that shade roads will be at the centre of a policy review by the Ashburton District Council.
Asset Management Engineer Geoff Rhodes told the Council's Service Delivery Committee meeting today that the shading of roads was a long-standing problem that was mainly caused by overgrown vegetation, particularly on the north side of sealed roads.
He said there was concern about trees preventing ice from thawing; contributing towards the deterioration of the road surface; restricting drivers' views at intersections; blocking road signage; posing a risk in vehicle collisions; and obstructing roadside drainage.
In response, the Service Delivery Committee agreed to review its policy relating to trees that shade roads. It also agreed to allow the Council's roading department to continue collecting data on tree heights and requesting residents to trim their vegetation.
Residents who don't cut back overgrown vegetation are likely to receive a letter from the Council asking that it be removed. If nothing is done, the Council is then able to cut back the foliage and charge residents for the cost involved.
The District Plan does not allow trees to shade the carriageway of a road from 10am to 2pm on the shortest day of the year. Trees are also not allowed to be planted within 30 metres of an intersection.