Grass cutting policy
Our grass cutting policies are focused on safety and visibility for road users. Due to decreased budgets, we can not cut grass verges for aesthetic reasons. Grass cutting decisions are always made from the point of view of road safety.
Our urban highway grass cutting policy applies to grass within the boundaries of roads with a speed limit of 40mph or less. We cut this grass five times per year between April and September.
We cut grass in these locations:
- at highway junctions for visibility – this applies to all road categories
- around event or hazard warning signs as required to maintain visibility
- where a footway is separated from the carriageway by an area of verge – grass on both sides of the footway will be cut to 0.5m
More regular grass cutting
Local parish and town councils might want to cut grass more frequently or extensively than we offer. Parish and town councils have the option to carry out urban grass cutting themselves with a financial contribution from North Yorkshire Council. This contribution can only go towards cutting grass in areas that we would have cut if we were responsible for grass cutting. Any grass cutting outside of those areas must be paid for by the parish or town council.
We are not responsible for maintaining the verges of private roads leading to or from private properties, or for the vast majority of hedges by the roadside which are usually the responsibility of the adjacent landowner.
We have to balance the safety of road users and pedestrians with environmental considerations, recognising that verges are important for wildlife. Some of our grass cutting is done early in the year, and some in July, August or September, to allow flowers to set seed whilst also maintaining safety.
The frequency of the cut depends on where the verge is located. Usually, areas we are responsible for will be cut five times a year.
Where weeds are causing a safety hazard, we use one application of a non-residual contact herbicide called 'glyphosate', which conforms to health and safety and Environment Agency requirements. We may use additional treatments where required.