Highway Maintenance

Verge maintenance (grass, trees and shrubs) – standards of maintenance

Our main reason for grass-cutting and tree and shrub maintenance is to enable safe use of the highway, for example:

  • · to keep drivers’ sight lines clear

  • · to prevent obstruction of access for pedestrians

  • · to ensure traffic signs and street lights are not obscured

  • · to maintain trees in a safe condition.

In rural areas, we cut a strip of grass – usually one metre wide – adjacent to the road. In order to provide an unobstructed view for drivers, we extend the grass cutting further back at road junctions, signs and the insides of bends. Usually we cut the grass twice per year during the growing season, or as required to keep sight lines clear.

Our standard for grass cutting frequency in built-up areas is higher than that for rural areas. District and borough councils, who cut the highway grass in built-up areas on our behalf, in most cases do so at a frequency still higher than our standard for built-up areas. This is in order to match the civic amenity standards they set for other public open spaces. They fund the difference between our standard and theirs themselves. The grass-cutting frequencies vary from district to district according to the level of enhancement the individual district/borough councils have chosen.

Our policy, The Management of Highway Verges, contains more detail on our standards.