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We cut grass on highway verges, central reservations and islands in Leicestershire
The 2018 urban grass cutting season is now complete. Preparations are already underway for next year and cut date information will be available here in March 2019.
We only cut grass for safety reasons, not appearance. Clippings are left on the verge as the sheer amount means we couldn't collect them. Leaving them is also good for the environment, as nutrients get passed back into the soil.
Urban grass cutting
Grass in towns and villages is cut by a 2 man gang using a ride on mower with flail and a strimmer. Each 2 man gang aims to cut the equivalent of nearly 4 football pitches a day.
Cut date information for this year will be available here in March.
Sometimes we aren’t able to cut grass on a verge, this could be due to:
A parked vehicle
Daffodils or wild flowers in bloom
Bins left out
Our grass cutting teams log missed cuts and where possible we return to missed areas, however we have a set programme to follow so it's not always possible and instead it will be picked up on the next scheduled cut. Please remember we cut for safety purposes not for aesthetic reasons.
Our 9 gangs cut the equivalent of nearly 36 full sized football pitches a day. The amount of clippings means we couldn't collect them, and leaving them is also good for the environment. Grass clippings add nutrients back into the soil, prevent some weeds and preserves moisture, helping keep grass healthy and green. Our cutting teams use equipment to blow cuttings onto the verge, but this can sometimes be made harder by weather conditions.
In larger areas we divide the grass cutting routes into zones which mean some streets / roads fall on different days. For example Loughborough takes 15 days and is split into different zones. This applies to other large areas such as Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Market Harborough which each take up to 5 days and Oadby & Wigston takes almost 10 days. So when you notice other nearby verges have been cut your verge is likely to be cut soon.
Grass cutting is very dependent on the weather. In the same way that you would struggle to cut your lawn whilst it is raining, long wet grass can clog up the blades in our tractors and mowers. Long grass also tends to flatten a little when it's wet, so it's more difficult for the cutting heads to cut the grass to a consistent height. As the weather improves so will the quality of cut.
Motorways and Trunk Roads are cut by Highways England
The A5 / A46 / A42 / A453 / A52 / A50 (J24 towards Stoke) / A14 / M1 / M69 / M42 and M6 are the responsibility of Highways England. You can report a grass issue to them by calling 0300 123 5000.
Rural grass cutting
Roads in between towns and villages (40mph and above) are classed as rural grass cutting routes, these are generally highway verges between village entry signs. These are cut in a nominal 1 metre swathe from the edge of the carriageway or footway, to ensure that vegetation does not restrict visibility for highway users.
To safely cut grass alongside dual carriageways and slip roads we have to arrange lane closures.
Cut date information for next year will be available here in March 2019.
Wild flowers bloom in spring
Our grass cutting teams cut around wild flowers, these areas are not cut until around June. For example, a verge with daffodils will only be cut after the daffodil season has died down, which is usually around the 3rd cut of the season.
Private accesses are the property owners responsibility
A private access is defined as an access that goes back onto non-highway land. When we undertake a single swathe along the route we will continue the 1m swathe across the private access but we don’t cut back the visibility splay around the access, this is the property owners responsibility.
We spray weeds in late May and late September.
We treat weeds with an environmentally friendly herbicide weed killer called glyphosate, which works on contact with weeds and is harmless to humans and animals. Once sprayed brown spots will start to appear and it takes around 4 weeks for the herbicide to kill the weed completely. By law the weed killer that we use is no stronger than products sold at DIY stores.
Most hedges are privately owned and we are currently only responsible for cutting hedges in just 250 locations across the county. Routine cutting is restricted to between October and February to avoid bird nesting season. Hedges are only cut for safety reasons and not appearance, to ensure branches do not overhang the highway or footway.
Edging back requests
Edging back of footways is usually done outside of the grass cutting season between October and March.
Report a grass cutting problem
During the cutting season you can tell us about a problem using our interactive map. The map will be available again in March 2019.
The grass cutting map is only an illustrative representation of the areas which the Council understands to be its responsibility as Highway Authority. The extent of the adopted public highway was not verified when compiling this dataset, so it may contain inaccuracies.
If you have reason to believe that any of the information is incorrect, please send a plan along with supporting information to the Council’s Highway Record Enquiries team (firstname.lastname@example.org) where the extent of the highway in the vicinity of the grass area will be investigated.
Please note that the presumption without evidence to the contrary is that any ditches or private boundary features (e.g. hedges) which overlap into the areas shown are the responsibility of the landowner adjoining the highway, and not the Highway Authority.