In Cheshire East there are:
- 5.8 million square metres of grass verge
Cutting grass verges
Grass cutting in urban areas (within 40 MPH areas)
Grass in urban areas is cut on a performance basis in order to maintain the height between 12mm and 75mm. This usually means a cut every 2 weeks between February to November depending on weather conditions. Grass cuttings will only be collected for safety reasons.
Grass cutting in rural areas (outside 40 MPH areas)
The rural swathe cut takes place once a year in the summer to protect rural verges which are a refuge for wildlife including plants, birds and insects.
- In rural areas, verges are cut in a single swathe cut, 1.2m (48 inches) wide from the edge of the carriageway or footway. In addition, visibility splays at road junctions and on bends are cut when required to maintain sightlines.
- Grass growing around street furniture which is located within the swath or sightlines is also cut back, this includes grass either side of footways, particularly those that are well used by pedestrians on the outskirts of urban areas.
- The timing is carefully chosen to take place at the height of the growing season to maximise the overall appearance for as long as possible. We nurture the existing wildlife in these areas by not unnecessarily disturbing the local natural habitats.
- We do attempt to coordinate the rural cut with major local events but this may not be possible for every occasion.
- Not all grassed areas adjacent to the highway are the responsibility of Cheshire East Council.
- If you are unsure as to who is responsible for maintaining a particular verge, contact the Highways Service as they may be able to help.
Highway grass verges are cut to aid road safety. It is cut to ensure good visibility at bends, road junctions and accesses and that information on roads signs is easy and clear to read. Safety is the most important factor, environmental and visual factors are also taken into account.
These factors may sometimes conflict with each other. For example, many people prefer verges to be neat and tidy, but this may not be best for wildflowers and wildlife.
As a compromise, grass in urban areas is cut with appearance in mind whereas conservation is given more importance in rural areas.