Somerset County Council
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Report an overgrown verge or hedge on the road

 

You can report an overgrown verge or hedge online using the button below.

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When contacting us, please give us the following information:

  • Your name and phone number, in case we need to contact you 
  • The name of the road or junction 
  • Whether the location is usually cut by us, if you know  

The highway network is vital to the people of Somerset and the local economy. During the growing season we carry out a number of environmental maintenance operations to help keep all road users safe.

We manage roadside vegetation to:

  • preserve visibility sight lines at junctions and bends 
  • provide a pedestrian refuge if there is no footway 
  • maximise the nature conservation value of highway land where this does not conflict with safety requirements   

Grass cutting 
Highway verges are cut to a minimum of one metre in width from the road side to provide a safe area for pedestrians, preserve visibility and help the flow of surface water along road channels. Visibility sight lines are also cut so that it is easier for road users and pedestrians to see at road junctions and on bends. Each highway verge, including junction visibilities, will be cut once during this season, except A and B road junction visibilities which will be cut twice.

In certain urban areas, grass cutting is carried out by District Councils. You can get more information about the standard used from your respective District Council. Please note, West Somerset Council does not undertake grass cutting on highway verges. 

Grass cutting in rural areas normally starts in early to mid-May. The busiest routes are cut first because of the higher volumes of traffic using them. 

This is our grass cutting programme.

Road Classification

Dates

A and B roads (including visibility splays)

16 May to 10 June

C and unclassified roads

13 June to 5 August

A and B visibility splays only

Mid to late August depending on the rate of growth

Environmentally protected sites

Usually at the end of the growing season


Please note, grass cutting may be affected by the weather and the dates listed above may change.

Hedges and banks 
Where there are no verges and the roads are immediately bordered by a bank or hedge, a single vertical swathe of seasonal growth will be cut. However, the majority of hedges bordering the highway are privately owned. Under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980 landowners and occupiers have to maintain their boundary, except between 1 March and 31 July (bird nesting season) to make sure their hedge, tree or shrub does not obstruct highway users or lines of sight at junctions. Landowners must also remove any debris from the road surface to prevent nuisance and to stop it blocking surface water drainage systems.  

Weed spraying 
Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959, certain noxious weeds, including ragwort, must be removed where they are reported as causing a nuisance to highway users or adjoining landowners. Other invasive species being treated by the County Council are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. If you know where these may be growing, please contact us and we will deal with it appropriately.

Conservation 
When we carry out all environmental works we seek to protect wildlife on roadside verges, while maintaining road safety. This is consistent with the Somerset Highways Biodiversity Manual.

For more information about environmental maintenance, please contact us.  

Contacts

Contact: Roads and Transport Team
Email: roadsandtransportSD@somerset.gov.uk
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

If there is an urgent problem outside these hours and it is a risk to public safety please phone the police on 101.

If you need to visit a highway area office you can find the address of your local office here.

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