Contractor redeploys staff to other highway tasks as grass growth slows in heatwave

The prolonged hot weather has vastly reduced grass growth and prompted the cancellation of the fourth urban grass cut of the year in West Sussex.

Staff from the County Council’s grass cutting contractor will be redeployed to other highway-related tasks, including:

Clearing overgrown vegetation
Clearing vegetation from signs and cleaning the signage
Watering the County Council’s 450-plus young trees, which have become stressed in the extreme heat and would otherwise be at very high risk of not surviving these exceptionally dry conditions
Digitally mapping rural grass cutting areas
A full cut of our urban grass areas would normally take around seven weeks, so these temporary arrangements will be in place for that maximum duration.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Cancelling the fourth cut could mean that we need to bring the fifth and final cut of the year forward slightly to compensate and we will closely monitor the situation.

“We would like to assure residents that safety-related grass cutting on the highway, for visibility reasons, will not be affected.”

Grass fact file
Urban cuts: In towns and other built-up areas, we cut and maintain grass verges during the growing season, which is between March and November. In typical years, the verges are still cut five times per year.

Rural cuts: Verges in rural areas receive cuts in the following order:

one visibility splay cut for safety – five weeks during April and May
one, one-meter-wide cut to stop grass and vegetation overhanging the road – from July to September
one overall cut a year – from the end September to the beginning of December.
In the countryside, or where there are no pavements, the County Council only maintains verges from a highway safety perspective.