Essex Highways calling on landowners to keep on top of vegetation maintenance

News / Fri 5th Apr 2024 at 07:13am

LANDOWNERS with ditches and low-hanging trees near roads are being urged to ensure these are cleared and cut back this spring.

Carrying out this work before vegetation starts growing rapidly helps keep roads and paths clear, making them easier to use for residents.

Landowners are responsible for maintaining foliage on their land, even if it is close to a road or pavement. They have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent risk.

Completing this work now ensures nesting birds are not disturbed. It also helps prevent flooding in wet conditions, and improves the visibility and usability of the road network.

Landowners should carry out works like:

  • cutting back overhanging branches which reduce or block the view of the road
  • cutting back overhanging branches that reduce the height or clearance of the road for tall vehicles such as double-decker school buses
  • removing or trimming damaged or diseased trees which are in danger of falling onto the road or pavement
  • trimming overgrown hedges obscuring road signs or streetlights
  • clearing ditches on private land to avoid flooding during periods of heavy rain

Most trees and hedges by roads are on privately owned land. Owners can include district councils, parish councils, housing associations, farmers and homeowners.

Essex County Council has confirmed this year that an extra £100,000 will go to Essex Highways to increase enforcement capabilities. This will help hold landowners accountable for maintaining foliage.

Tom Blackburne-Maze, Interim Director of Highways and Transport at Essex County Council, said: “The maintenance of private hedges and trees adjacent to our road network is crucial in ensuring the safety of all residents as they travel around the county.

“Essex Highways is responsible for some trees and hedges and will ensure those located on the public highway are maintained. However, anything on private land needs to be maintained by the landowner.

“We appreciate the work landowners do in maintaining these areas and would thank them for remembering that this is the best time to deal with any overhanging vegetation and ensure any ditches are clear before the nesting periods.”

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8 Comments for Essex Highways calling on landowners to keep on top of vegetation maintenance:

Jane Woollcott
2024-04-05 08:01:50

Essex Highways need to concentrate on all the Pot Holes!!!

2024-04-05 08:14:18

Then in return Essex Highways can relay roads correctly rather than bodge pot hole 'repairs' that end up having Penis shapes spray painted round them. Which in return left me with my cars engine cover and wheel arch getting ripped off whilst trying to go get my toddlers from preschool!

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-05 08:55:00

😄 🤣 it's a joke right.

2024-04-05 09:14:25

Ample proof of this along the Crooked Mile.

2024-04-05 15:44:17

Land owners do have a duty of care to look after their property and maintain it accordingly. Essex council have a duty of care to US, the electorate, to ensure that the roads are fit for use and not dangerous. Get your own house in order before you start preaching to us.

2024-04-06 09:45:02

Why would land owners feel incentivised to remedy dangerous vegetation blocking so called roads that resemble the surface of the moon.The county council need to look in the mirror and see that their inactivity may result in local people finding their own "quick setting concrete" solutions to potholes.Guess they would soon find the money to prosecute for criminal damage to highways if that occurred.Get the cycle tracks in Harlow resurfaced properly too they are downright dangerous just like the roads.

2024-04-06 11:07:49

It really is a backward approach, increasing a budget for enforcement, rather than to work to make a pleasant place for all. That enforcement fee could easily pay for at least 3 extra team cutters a year to maintain. However as enforcement court and solicitors fees are very expensive I doubt this will go far.

2024-04-06 19:29:49

You could not make this up. Essex Highways you are a disgrace,you truly are. They have no shame at all.

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