Complaints about overgrown verges in St Albans

Local residents say the grass verges on Green Lane are overgrown

Local residents say the grass verges on Green Lane are overgrown - Credit: Archant

Complaints about the scruffy appearance of St Albans has generated a spate of concerns about the state of grass verges.

Last month Richard Burton, of Sandridge Road, questioned why road verges were not being cut more often and said the condition of some of them gave a bad impression to visitors.

Plenty of other residents have now raised the same issue including two in Green Lane, St Albans, which has only received one cut this year.

Vic Berryman, of Green Lane, said that on the one occasion the verge had been cut, it created such a mess that he had to re-cut the grass himself and had been doing so for the past five weeks while surrounding verges had got increasingly unkempt.

Another reader, Tracy Hirst, of Woodcock Hill in Sandridge, said verges were “looking totally overgrown and unkempt.”

She said she had been told by the district council that the county council had cut its contribution to the payment of contractors to maintain the verges and that had resulted in grass which had been cut every two to three weeks being left for six to seven weeks.

She added: “Long grass gives an impression people don’t care, this then attracts litter bugs and the whole area is starting to look awful.”

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Another resident, who did not wish to be named, questioned whether the council was supervising their contractor and said the quality of grass cuting in St Albans had deteriorated in many ways from how it used to be.

He said that the verges used to be cut by petrol-driven hand mowers which did ‘a neat and proper job’ but now areas which couldn’t be reached were cut by strimmer and “left with a hacked appearance with much of it missed and left to grow longer”.

St Albans council’s property and assets manager, Debbi White, said: “John O’Conner has a contract with the district council which administers the cutting of highways grass verges locally on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council in accordance with their performance standards.

“The standards are linked to a height specification for urban areas or a swathe cut of twice per grass cutting season in rural areas.

“The standards are set by the county council to ensure that sight lines for drivers are safe. In practice, it means that highways grass verges are cut to the equivalent of seven times a year concentrated across the growing season.”