A COUNCIL has been accused of allowing a specially-created cycling area for young children to become so overgrown it is no longer usable.

Local councillor Roy Davies is angry at the latest blow to the repeatedly-vandalised play area in Olive Lane Park in Darwen.

His frustration is increased by the fact that nearby grass verges on Exchange Street have been carefully mown.

Darwen East Liberal Democrat Cllr Davies is now calling on Blackburn with Darwen Council to come back and mow the cycle area so it can again be used by local youngsters.

He said: “This area in Olive Lane Park which was put in place at a cost of around £10,000 about nine years ago for young children to ride their bikes, scooters safely.

“The borough council has let it become overgrown to a point that it is unusable. It is another blow to Olive Lane Park.

“It is right by the play area where the equipment is old and deteriorating and in need of replacement.

“This area was ideal for parents to watch their young children ride their bikes and scooters before allowing them on the road.

“It is shocking and scandalous that the council has let it get to this state.

“Young children need play areas where they can exercise and let of steam in safety.

“If the council can mow the grass verge on Exchange Street until it's like a billiard table, why did they not do this area at the same time?

“They need to come back and sort it.

“When I complained previously about poor grass cutting, the borough council told me that due to funding cuts it would be left like this and seeds would be sown to allow wild flowers to grow.

“I am all in favour of wild flowers but in the right place and this children’s cycling and play area is not the right place.

“There are other parts of Olive Lane Park where they could put a wild flower meadow.”

Cllr Davies said the equipment at all three play areas in Sudell – Olive Lane, Shorey Bank and at the side of Sudellside community centre – were no longer fit for purpose.

A Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council spokeswoman said: “We have been made aware of this area, and this matter will be looked into.”