03 June 2021

Roadside verge grass cutting works to get underway across Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire Council is about to start its annual roadside verge grass cutting programme in the next few days.

The council maintains more than 5,400 kilometres of roads and around 10,000km of rural roadside verges across Aberdeenshire.

Following a procurement exercise, seven local agricultural contractors have been awarded the 21 separate routes - varying in length from 380km to 580km - on a 3-year contract valued at £250,000 per annum.

The cutting regime will comprise one full cut of the entire network including all visibility areas, sight lines and junctions, with a possible second cut at junctions and some identified visibility splays later in the season where necessary.

Works will commence initially on A and B Class roads before moving on to C and Unclassified roads.

The start date for the grass cutting has been set to maximise the control of the vegetation height and is adapted locally as necessary to reflect different growth patterns across Aberdeenshire. 

The maintenance regime and cutting schedules are as follows:

Full cut (visibility/junction/verge swathe cut): Early June till end of July

Further cutting to junction/visibility as instructed: August to September

A full-width verge cutting regime will also be carried out on selected main roads over a 6-year rolling programme

Additional cuts may be required during the season to accommodate other maintenance work activities such as surface dressing and resurfacing

Philip McKay, Head of Roads, Landscape Services and Waste Management at Aberdeenshire Council, explains: “This verge cutting regime is intended to balance the quantity of cutting required without compromising road safety. An additional benefit is that this regime will support our ongoing commitment to improving biodiversity and the impact of the cutting regime is closely monitored.

“Certain sections of road verge containing species of particular conservation value are marked by signs bearing a butterfly logo and no grass cutting will take place within these designated areas.

“Our verge cutting is generally carried out under a ‘mobile works’ type traffic management system and I would urge all road users to be vigilant of slow-moving machinery during the summer months and please be patient and courteous to our contractors and other road users when passing any grass-cutting operations.”