Powys County Council carries out a number of environmental maintenance operations on highway verges to ensure the safe passage of all road users whilst also being aware of its responsibilities as the guardian of the vast range of biodiversity contained within those verges. These operations include :-
Highway verges on rural roads are usually cut to a minimum of one swathe width (1.2m) to provide a safe refuge for pedestrians and to facilitate the free flow of surface water along road channels. Additional swathes are cut at bends and junctions to meet visibility safety requirements and to expose street furniture. Prior to the commencement of cutting operations, main road verges will be litter picked to enhance their appearance thereafter. Further litter picking of highway verges will take place throughout the year as required. All rural road verges are normally cut once a year with the timing of the cut depending on that season’s growth.
Highway verges in urban areas are normally cut to their full width at least 4 times a year to enhance the amenity value of such verges rather than entirely for reasons of highway safety.
Most hedges adjacent to public highways in rural and urban locations are not the responsibility of the Authority to maintain and are in private ownership. Legislation places a statutory obligation on landowners/occupiers to maintain their boundary (outside of the bird nesting season) to ensure that their hedge does not cause an obstruction. Any debris created as a result of related operations should be removed from the highway surface.
Weed spraying is carried out to all kerbed sections of the carriageway in rural areas to prevent damage to the road structure and to prevent obstructions to drainage. This is carried out up to twice a year using an environmentally friendly and suitably approved `glyphosate` spray. Spraying is also carried out to help expose crash barriers and posts. Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959 certain noxious weeds including Ragwort and Japanese Knotweed are physically removed or sprayed.
Minimal weed spraying is carried out in urban areas, as regular sweeping should help reduce the presence of weeds.
All of Powys County Council’s environmental maintenance policies are directed to conserve the biodiversity of roadside verges whilst not jeopardising road safety. In conjunction with local Wildlife Trusts, the Authority manages some 90 roadside nature reserves that receive a maintenance regime sympathetic to the particular biodiversity surveyed and identified within the verge. These sites are marked on the highway and further information can be received from respective Wildlife Trusts.
Through a rolling programme of maintenance works a range of drainage related activities are carried out to verges to help minimise damage to the carriageway. These works include ditch cleaning, siding and grip cleaning.
Telephone: 0845 602 7035
Fax: 01597 827276
Local and Environmental Services