Grass cutting

About the grass cutting process, how often grass will be cut alongside roads in Suffolk and how to report a grass cutting problem.

All verges adjacent to the public highway are cut for safety purposes to maintain visibility at junctions, and to ensure that road and pavement widths are not reduced.

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.

Read our quick guide for information and details on verge maintenance in Suffolk. 

Verge maintenance quick guide (PDF 128,KB)

If you'd like to read other guides similar to this, on highways topics such as highway emergencies, visit our quick guides page

Browse the tabs below for further details

The annual cyclic grass cutting programme is now complete for 2022, however grass cutting will still be carried out where necessary should there be a safety concern. 

Grass cutting 2022 A & B roads - PDF (415 KB) 

Grass cutting 2022 C & U roads - PDF (490 KB) 

To search for a particular area of interest, please open the PDF programme and press Ctrl + F  

Please note that the programmes are subject to change due to a range of factors, including bad weather. The programme will be updated regularly.

The maintenance of grassed areas in public open spaces and housing areas in Ipswich is undertaken by Ipswich Borough Council.

Ipswich Borough Council also undertakes grass cutting on highway verges in Ipswich on behalf of Suffolk County Council. 

Visit grass cutting in Ipswich for further details. 

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
  • paths providing safer links

You can report a grass cutting problem quickly and easily online using our Highways Reporting Tool.

The following FAQ have been compiled to help answer any questions you may have around grass cutting.

Why do you only cut a narrow strip of grass alongside the road in rural areas?

Suffolk Highways’ tractors have a standard width of blade which is 1.2 metres. This is the width of cut that applies all around the country. This is sufficient to give clarity as to what is at the side of the road. It provides slightly more than the standard clearance width of 1 metre for wider vehicles that may partially overhang the verge – the drivers of those vehicles can see their forward passage is clear.

Why don’t you cut additional, parallel 1.2 metre wide strips then?

It isn’t generally necessary for the safe use of the public highway. However, there are locations where additional cutting may be considered necessary to provide adequate visibility from side roads.

Why do you only cut these strips once a year on C roads and unclassified roads?

There is a sizeable cost associated with cutting the grass each year and tough decisions have to be made as to where money is spent for highway maintenance. For every extra pound that might be spent on cutting grass, that would be one pound less that is spent on filling potholes, resurfacing roads, repaving footways or cleaning out roadside gullies (drains).

Is this frequency likely to change?

It is quite unlikely to change as it is felt the council already has the right balance between what it spends its highway maintenance funds on. The council will shortly be consulting on a new ‘Highway Infrastructure Asset Management Plan’ which sets out its specifications, standards and frequency of work. This document will explain in greater detail the entire range of work that is carried out in maintaining Suffolk’s road network and you can comment on its contents from around mid-July onwards via our web pages on this website.

Doesn’t this grass cutting adversely affect the growth of wild flowers and ground-nesting birds?

There is a balance to be had between keeping the highway safe for all road users – there is a duty on the Council on this set out in the Highways Act 1980 – and being sensitive to the local ecology and wildlife. Suffolk does have a large number of roadside nature reserves around the county. Find more details about Suffolk's landscape and wildlife.

Why don’t you cut the grass at a different time of year once the wild flowers have had a chance to grow and the ground-nesting birds to fly away?

If the grass is cut too early there is every likelihood that the grass will then grow too long and become a safety issue, requiring an extra cut and greater expense. If the grass is left to grow too long, it can present a safety issue to road users particularly if the grass is blown across the side of the road making it slippery and difficult to work out where the edge of the road is. Equally, the tractors are working constantly through the spring and summer to keep all of Suffolk’s grass at a safe height everywhere throughout that time.

Why have you not cut the grass at the times your schedule said you would?

Grass cutting is very dependent on the weather. In the same way that you would not cut your lawn whilst it is raining because the wet grass will clog up your mower, long wet grass can clog up the blades in the tractors’ cutting heads.  Furthermore, long grass tends to flatten a little when it is wet so it is more difficult for the cutting heads to cut the grass to a consistent height. 

Contact us

  • Web chat is the quickest and easiest way to contact us. Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm.
    The web chat button will appear in the right hand corner when someone is available to talk to.
  • You can report problems easily using our Highways Reporting Tool
  • Call: 0345 606 6171