We carry out grass cutting on public highway verges predominantly to maintain visibility and enhance the safety of highway users. We are not responsible for grass cutting on public open spaces, village greens, verges which are not adopted public highway, or verges next to roads in Staffordshire which are maintained by other authorities - such as trunk roads.
Some housing associations also carry out this maintenance on areas of grass that form part of their land.
We separate our highway verge maintenance into two programmes; rural grass cutting and urban grass cutting and there are several delivery partners engaged in this work on our behalf.
Rural grass cutting
Our main priority for rural grass cutting is to maintain visibility and safety for road users. We do not have the resources available to collect grass cuttings afterwards, so these are left to mulch down into the verge areas.
The rural programme is generally undertaken on roads with a speed limit of 40mph and above and there are two regimes in operation depending whether they are classed as Priority 1 or Priority 2 in the grass cutting programme.
The rural grass cutting programme involves a 1m wide single swathe cut three times per year for Priority 1 routes and a 1m wide single swathe cut twice a year for Priority 2 routes.
In some parts of the county, due to arrangements to protect local wildlife, some locations are only cut once per year.
Areas that need to be cut back at junctions and bends for good visibility are generally cut to full width.
Urban grass cutting
Urban grass cutting is a routine maintenance operation, broadly carried out on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less and is sometimes undertaken on our behalf by the district, borough or parish council in whose area the road is located.
From April 2020 urban grass will be cut a minimum of six times throughout the growing season. Our duty is about maintaining safety and visibility and not about aesthetics or tidiness. We do not have the resources available to collect grass cuttings following this activity; instead this is left to mulch down into the verge areas.
Whilst this grass will be cut to a minimum standard of six cuts per year, some local councils may choose to deliver additional cuts to improve the general aesthetic feel of an area. Advice and guidance are available to local councils on how to undertake grass cutting and other forms of roadside maintenance should they wish to do so.