Blind man’s struggle with hazard bush

John Jackson at the overgrown hedge near to his home in Whittle-le-Woods
John Jackson at the overgrown hedge near to his home in Whittle-le-Woods

A Chorley man who was left blind after an explosion 30 years ago says overgrown hedges are to blame for him being knocked over by a van.

John Jackson, of Church Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, was left blind and permanently scarred on his face after an explosion at the former ROF factory in Euxton.

He now uses guide dog Oscar to help him get around, but says overgrown hedges near to his home mean his dog often leads him into the road.

John, 63, said: “I do a lot of walking and my route to the shops goes past a hedge which is really overgrown.

“Oscar feels the hedge and comes away from it, taking me onto the road because he is trying to protect me.

“But it has meant I have been knocked over by a van in the past and I have had my glasses knocked off too.

“This wasn’t the driver’s fault, it was the hedge. Every time I walk past the branches go in my face.”

John says he has reported the problem around 12 times to Chorley Community Housing (CCH), who rent the house where the hedge is to a tenant. He said: “The hedge has been trimmed a little bit but it is still too high.

“I have reported this but CCH said it was not their responsibility and sent a letter to the tenant - but nothing has been done.

“This is causing a real problem for me. It is a danger with the cars parking along that road because of the schools near by and the rubbish bin lorries that come down here.”

A spokesperson for CCH said if the problem is not resolved by the tenant then they will take action.

They said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused to Mr Jackson.

“There is an overgrown hedge in our ownership causing a partial obstruction but this is the responsibility of the tenant of the property to maintain.

“We have written to the tenant asking them to trim this back as soon as possible. If they do not do this then we will take further action as necessary.”