Highway verges in Dudley are cut for amenity and road safety purposes, to maintain visibility at junctions and to provide a refuge for pedestrians.
Urban verges are mown approximately 14 times a year between April and October along with the other areas of council grass. This frequency has been set so that the grass is kept to an acceptable length while being cost effective.
Rural verges, where we have them, are cut with a tractor mounted flail once or twice per year. Cuts to visibility areas at junctions and the inside of bends are usually prioritised. Cutting commences with the visibility areas in May or June. If we have the capability to carry out a second cut this would be done later in the season usually September.
The tractor flail has a tearing / chopping action rather than a scissor cutting action like on cylinder mowers. This coupled with the fact that the grass being cut is long and often mixed with flowers and weeds will result in a different look to grass which is cut weekly or fortnightly. Verges that are uneven can sometimes be scalped down to the soil. However such damage to the verges will quickly recover.
When we cut the verges we aim to avoid chopping up litter and leaving clumps of grass cuttings on surrounding paths. Sometimes, especially in wet weather, it is unavoidable not to get grass on paths. Where this happens we will do our best to remove it speedily.
Our urban verges are also treated with a contact herbicide around the edge of the verge twice a year (in March / April and June / July) to keep the grass edges in check. We also carry out a cut with rotary mowers or strimmers in mid summer to remove stalky seed heads and “fringes” on and around the verges.