A road verge is a strip of vegetation (grass, flowers, trees, hedges) beside a road or pavement.

As verges can run alongside roads, it is important that we keep our roads safe. But we can also improve spaces for nature along road verges. Having biodiverse verges does not mean roads will be less safe.

We cut certain areas such as sightlines and junctions more often if they have an impact on road safety.

Missed grass verges

There are times when we can’t cut grass on a verge. This could be due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • an obstruction such as a parked vehicle or wheelie bin
  • daffodils which we can't cut until June
  • a dedicated wildlife/flower verge

Our grass cutting teams log missed cuts. Where possible we return to reported missed areas.

Edging back

Edging back means ‘pushing back’ an overgrown verge which has spread and narrowed the existing footway. This is usually done between October and March when the ground is softer.

We direct resources to priority sites. For example, where a verge has grown so much that it is difficult for pushchairs or wheelchairs to pass on the pavement.

Urban and rural areas

We classify an urban area as anything within a 30 mph zone (or less) in towns and villages. A rural area would be anything that falls outside of this definition, such as roads that link towns and villages.

On the first cut, we only cut junctions and bends in the road. Our next cuts will include a one-metre strip along the cut kerbside.

We cut junctions and bends in the road right back for safety purposes. We have a duty to ensure we maintain visibility for road users.

The rural network is 3.9 million linear metres. Our contractors’ tractors travel the equivalent of the length of the UK three times over on each cut.

Where there is a private access, it is the responsibility of the property owners along rural roads to:

  • keep their entrance clear
  • keep access in and out of the property safe

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