7 September 2020

Dear all,

With the temperatures starting to drop and many trees already showing a riot of colour, it certainly seems like autumn has come early this year. This has coincided with the start of our annual maintenance schedules for the strategic network, which includes verge cutting on the rural network, and I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you all with a timely update.

Highways teams will be starting work this week on cutting 2672 km (nearly 1,660 miles) of rural verges as part of the autumn ‘serviceability cut’ and new regime to help protect wildflowers and benefit flora and fauna. This follows on from the ‘safety cut’ which we carried out in the spring.

Our operations are designed to continue to support the role of highway verges as important networks for conservation, and we have been carefully monitoring the growth of vegetation to ensure they are cut at the optimum time for safety and environmental reasons.

The rural programme is generally undertaken on roads with a speed limit above 30mph and we anticipate it will take between ten and twelve weeks for us to complete these operations across the county.

We will be cutting to preserve visibility, to ensure that growth does not encroach into the carriageway particularly affecting cyclists or pedestrians, and improve the flow of water along road channels.

While the grass cutting takes place, we would also like to remind road users to be mindful and to take care when passing our cutting operations.

Of course, if you do spot a hazard caused by an overgrown verge then please report it to us online so that we can take action.

Best wishes,

Andy James
Head of Highways and Environment