Grass verge cutting ‘in full flow’ across West Sussex

Verge cutting across West Sussex is ‘in full flow’ as part of their annual maintenance operation.

Craig Sandles strimming on one of the seven annual urban grass cutting rounds this summer (photo submitted). SUS-150528-130923001
Craig Sandles strimming on one of the seven annual urban grass cutting rounds this summer (photo submitted). SUS-150528-130923001

Between March and November contractors cut grass verges in towns and urban areas seven times, while verges in rural parts of the county are cut three times a year.

While West Sussex County Council’s Highways Twitter account originally suggested that this year’s operation was two weeks behind schedule, it later Tweeted that they were on schedule.

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John O’Brien, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have maintained the same number of cuts a year in our budget – so the grass cutting operation is now in full flow across the county.

County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O'Brien, chats to Matt Arnold on his grass cutting round (photo submitted). SUS-150528-130910001

“In all urban areas, we cut grass verges an extra two times than national safety guidelines recommend.

“In the countryside - or where there are no pavements - we maintain the verges so pedestrians don’t have to walk in the road if they can avoid it.”

Attractive wild plants such as bee orchids or pyramidal orchids are managed carefully through the county council’s ‘Notable Road Verges Scheme’.

Mr O’Brien added: “As far as safety allows, we preserve verges as havens for rare flowers and wildlife.

“These are Notable Road Verges which we do not cut while the flowers are in bloom.

“Instead they are maintained out of season.

“We look after 90 road verges in this way and if residents think we need to look after any more, we always consider it.”

The county council also operates a weed spraying programme.

Mr O’Brien continued: “We also treat noxious weeds such as ragwort and Japanese knotweed in situ by spraying them twice a year.

“We no longer incinerate them.

“This has been successful and has helped us to control them.”

Download the 2015 urban grass cutting schedule here.

You can report any issues with grass or weeds online, by downloading the Love West Sussex app, or by calling 01243 642105.

Verges on the A27, M23 and A23 are maintained by Highways England.

Grass cutting in recreational areas such as parks and housing areas are carried out by district and borough councils or housing authorities.

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