Weed control

How we deal with weeds on roads and pavements.

Weeds can damage paved surfaces, displace kerbstones and crack walls, making maintenance difficult and costly. If weeds grow in road gullies and channels they can slow down and, at worst, block the drainage systems. They can also trap litter and debris.

We spray weeds on roads and pavements twice a year between April to the end of May and between July and September. The timing depends on weather conditions and weed growth and it takes around six weeks to spray roads across the county. Some roads will be treated at the end of the programme and therefore, could have more weed growth by the time they are sprayed.

The chemical we use is Glyphosate, which is the most commonly used weed killer for public areas. Glyphosate is approved for use by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and is marketed as safe to its users and the public for use on the public highway.

Please note: we do not spray weeds in or around designated Community Road Verges.

When treated, weeds do not die straight away. It can take several weeks for the weeds to die back and turn brown. The chemical will only treat green weeds that are growing at the time of the treatment, new weeds will grow following the treatment which will be unaffected by the chemical. We do not chemically treat other weeds such as dandelions that grow in grass verges or shrub beds.

We use specialist treatment methods for harmful weeds, such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese knotweed. If you notice any of these weeds on the highway, please report it online. If the weeds are located on private property, then these are the responsibility of the landowner.

For Japanese knotweed located on the highway we have a planned treatment programme, when we will visit these sites during September to apply herbicide. Further information on harmful and invasive weeds is available on the GOV.UK website.

How you can help

We are happy for members of the community to remove weed growth on pavements where it is safe to do so. Please do not try to kill or remove noxious weeds yourself as this can be a serious health risk.

We recommend wearing gloves when touching any plant you are unfamiliar with, in case you have a reaction to the sap or prickles.

Please report online or phone 01243 642105 if you spot:

  • significant areas of weeds in urban areas that are causing a hazard, such as large cracks or very uneven areas of pavement
  • noxious weeds, for example giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed.
Last updated:
20 February 2024
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