What recent assessment has been made of the contribution to Highway Safety of verge cutting?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
Please find attached an information note on our highway verge management which is our latest assessment of the service provision. This Authority has to balance the need to conserve species rich areas with managing fast growing vegetation for highway maintenance and safety. Vegetation type and growth varies from area to area but generally many verges have summer vegetation of sufficient height to reduce forward visibility markedly on bends and hills and to jeopardise the safety of the verge as pedestrian refuge. In certain places vegetation flops out into the carriageway, particularly after rain, obscuring the edges of the road and reducing the width of the carriageway. This can be especially problematic for cyclists and pedestrians. Vegetation growing outwards on hedge banks along narrow lanes and adjacent to footways can also significantly reduce the accessible width of carriageway and present other safety issues. Without some degree of routine cutting of verges brambles, gorse, bracken and tree saplings will soon begin to establish.