Grass cutting

Grass alongside roads in Suffolk is cut to maintain visibility for highway users, ensuring that road and pavement widths are not reduced by overgrown vegetation

In areas where there are no pavements, there may be a need to provide a safe refuge on the highway verge for pedestrians, particularly near busy roads.

On public rights of way, we prioritise paths for inclusion on its cutting programme.  Examples of factors increasing a path's priority for cutting include:

  • county council promoted routes;
  • locally important paths;
  • paths giving access to local services; and
  • paths providing safer links.

The following table sets out the number of cuts per year, assuming average growth:

Location Standard of grass cutting
Urban areas Full highway verge width - a minimum of 3 cuts per year
Rural verges

A and B roads:  2 cuts per year of first 1.2 metre width and cutting to maintain visibility at junctions, bends and signs.  

Minor roads (C and U): 1 cut per year of first 1.2 metre width and cutting to maintain visibility at junctions, bends and signs.

Often verges are wider than 1.2 metres and vegetation beyond this point will remain largely untouched at these locations.

Additional localised cutting may be undertaken where required for safety reasons - see notes below

Public rights of way Where a path is on the cutting programme, 2 cuts per year are normally undertaken, with the width dependent on the path’s status. The first cut commences in May and the second in August.

 Additional localised cutting on the road network may take place where:

  • grass overhanging a pavement causes people to walk in the road;
  • it would encourage journeys to school by walking or cycling;
  • access to village centres by means other than a car would be difficult or dangerous;
  • there are potential safety hazards caused by long grass, for example at junctions;
  • cuttings/embankments require safety or amenity trimming.
  • grass cutting in urban areas and on housing estates is carried out for amenity purposes by District or Borough Councils, and this is more often than required for highway safety.

There are a number of roadside verges which have been designated as roadside nature reserves where essential cutting takes place at appropriate times to protect the various species. Further information can be found on our Roadside Nature Reserves page.

If you would like to tell us about a grass cutting problem, please use our online report, selecting report type grass, hedges, trees and weeds; problem type grass cutting.

 

If there is a grass cutting problem on a trunk road (PDF, 89KB), (A11, A12, A14) please contact the Highways Agency Information Line.