Somerset Council’s Highways team have been trimming roadside verges, in the interest of safe visibility for motorists.
Each year we trim over 9,400km of roadside verge; that is almost the distance from Taunton to Tokyo.
Somerset Council’s verge maintenance programme aims to find a balance between promoting habitat creation and protecting wildlife, and the overall road safety of all road users. We do not cut the grass without good reason.
Most highway verges are only cut to a width of one metre (1-swathe width), though some stretches can be cut back further to improve visibility for motorists at specific junctions. As well as ensuring visibility this also helps water flow along road channels and provides a safe area for pedestrians where there is no pavement.
The cutting programme commenced in May and is due to be completed in September, depending on the seasonal growing conditions. The routes which experience higher volumes of traffic are cut first.
Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital, Councillor Mike Rigby, said: “Every summer we deliver this programme so that our network remains safe. Verge cutting is critically important in keeping our highway network running efficiently.
“We are committed to keeping our verges short, but we are always looking to improve our public engagement alongside our service, so we can ensure our network is safe together. If you do spot a problem on the road, you can alert us quickly and easily by reporting it on our website.”
The aim to protect wildlife on roadside verges, while maintaining road safety, consistent with the Somerset Highways Biodiversity Manual and the recently adopted Somerset Pollinator Action Plan, which can be found here: www.somerset.gov.uk/planning-buildings-and-land/biodiversity-and-planning/#Somerset-Pollinator-Action-Plan.
There is a map on our website showing which roads are undergoing verge cutting here: www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/grass-cutting/. You can see dates of planned works here: www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/roadworks-and-travel/, and make sure to follow Travel Somerset on Twitter and Facebook.