Proactive steps for best use of resources in hot weather

We will work closely with the contractor to continually monitor the growth and the grass cutting schedule will be resumed when necessary

 

Release date: 3 August 2018

Exceptional, dry weather has had significant impact on the county’s verges. Grass growth has been reduced to such an extent that West Sussex Highways is taking proactive steps to continue to make best use of the available resources.

Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “With the exceptionally dry weather, grass growth has been reduced to such an extent that there is little value in continuing our usual cycle of grass cutting.

“With this weather likely to continue over the next fortnight, we have decided to suspend the urban grass cutting for at least the next four weeks. Instead, we will utilise that freed-up resource to tackle areas which might otherwise be overlooked.

“Primarily, the focus will be on footpaths in urban areas, known as ‘twittens’, and cutting back on overgrown vegetation which has been reported as a concern.

“The West Sussex Highways team will work closely with the contractor to continually monitor the growth and the grass cutting schedule will be resumed when necessary.”

Two of the grass-cutting crews will finish the rural cut and re-visit any areas identified as having been missed.

Grass cutting facts:

  • Scheduling grass cutting is a difficult balancing act, as growth is so dependent on seasonal factors, such as rain and sunshine. West Sussex Highways’ aim is to space the cuts so the grass is maintained at a reasonable level.

  • We currently cut urban grass maintained at public expense up to seven times per year between March and November.

  • There is no statutory requirement to provide a minimum level of grass cutting over and above that needed to ensure the highway is safe. However, nationally-recognised guidance suggests five cuts in urban areas would achieve a reasonable balance between maintaining the street scene and ensuring highway safety. West Sussex Highways currently provides seven cuts in urban areas, which is well above this recommendation. 

  • We cut the county’s rural grass up to three times per year in the same period.

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