Highway Maintenance

Maintenance of road verges

Cutting road verges (grass, trees and shrubs)

Maintenance (cutting) of grass, shrubs and trees within highway boundaries is Hampshire County Council’s responsibility. However,

  • In built-up areas including towns and villages (usually defined as areas with 30mph or 40mph speed limits) we pay the district  councils to maintain the highway grass and shrubs on our behalf;
  • In rural areas, we maintain the highway grass and shrubs ourselves (via our contractor).

For more detail about the different organisations involved, see the table below. For information about tree maintenance, see the second table.

Frequency of verge cutting in rural areas

Rural Verge Cutting is managed by Hampshire Highways Area Offices.

Twice a year, we cut the grass on rural highway verges along a strip one metre wide from the edge of the road.  The first cut is carried out in late spring, typically between April and June, and the second in late summer, typically between August and October.  Exact timings within these windows depend on where each locality features in our programme.

In addition, we cut the grass at junctions and in front of road signs to ensure sight lines are maintained, throughout the summer as needed.

Some specific areas of rural verge are sites of ecological interest.  The grass at these sites may be cut at different times or frequencies to allow certain flora to seed.

The remaining areas of verge are cut about once every three years in order to prevent them from becoming overgrown.

Other responsibilities

Hedges and trees growing along boundaries with the highway are usually the responsibility of the adjoining land-owner, even on the highway side. We (Hampshire County Council in all areas) have powers to enforce adjoining landowners’ responsibilities to maintain their vegetation, if necessary.

Non-highway public areas such as public open spaces and recreation grounds are the responsibility of the district/borough councils. Maintenance of grass, shrubs and trees in these areas is carried out by the district/borough councils.

Verge maintenance on Motorways and Trunk Roads and on any road in Southampton and Portsmouth is not Hampshire County Council’s responsibility.

Highway grass and shrub maintenance

Area

Highway grass and shrubs maintained by

Basingstoke and Deane Borough

Towns and Villages

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council*

Rural Areas

Hampshire County Council

East Hampshire District

Towns and villages

East Hampshire District Council*

Rural areas

Hampshire County Council

Eastleigh borough - the whole borough

Eastleigh Borough Council*

Fareham borough - the whole borough

Fareham Borough Council*

Gosport borough - the whole borough

Gosport Borough Council*

Hart District

Towns and villages

Hart District Council*

Rural areas

Hampshire County Council

Havant borough - the whole borough

Havant Borough Council*

New Forest district

Towns and villages

New Forest District Council* except on the open side of cattle grids in villages in the New Forest, where verges are grazed by animals

Rural areas (other than those shown below)

Hampshire County Council

Unfenced verges in the New Forest, outside villages

Verges are grazed by animals. These verges are the Forestry Commission's responsibility.

Rushmoor borough - the whole borough

Rushmoor Borough Council* Tel:

01252 398772

Test Valley borough

Towns and villages

Test Valley Borough Council* Tel: 01264 368000 Email: leisure@testvalley.gov.uk

Rural areas

Hampshire County Council

Winchester district - the whole district

Towns, villages and the city of Winchester

Winchester City Council

Rural areas

Hampshire County Council

Highway tree maintenance

Area

Highway trees maintained by

Eastleigh borough (the whole borough)

Eastleigh Borough Council*

Gosport borough (the whole borough)

Gosport Borough Council*

Rushmoor borough (the whole borough)

Rushmoor Borough Council*

Basingstoke – within the town boundaries

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council*

Basingstoke and Deane borough – everywhere except within Basingstoke town boundaries

Hampshire County Council

Everywhere else in Hampshire (except Southampton, Portsmouth and motorways/trunk roads)

Hampshire County Council

* as agents to Hampshire County Council