The aim of the programme is to keep amenity and public spaces well maintained and also – crucially – to keep down the height of vegetation on roadside verges to ensure good visibility for passing traffic. During the current programme which runs now until November, all areas will be cut approximately three times.
Steps are also being taken to ensure that rare wildflowers growing in the million square metres of verges for which Island Roads has responsibility are protected.
Not only are the locations of protected species- such as orchids – mapped out, but teams are also briefed to try and leave sections where other wild flowers are growing provided it is safe to do so.
In the Island Roads maintenance programme, first to be treated are the high profile areas adjacent busy highways such as Coppins Bridge while in April it will be the turn of rural verges. In May, as the vegetation growth increases, the focus will switch to ensuring visibility is maintained for people driving around the Island.
Already there has been work on hedge cutting, pruning, planting and border maintenance in preparation for the summer months so the streetscene will be looking colourful later in the year. Work has also been done on ‘edging’ areas where the grass is known to impinge on pavements which will ensure proper access for pedestrians as well as helping to smarten up public spaces.
Dave Wallis Island Roads environmental services manager, said: “The maintenance programme is important both from a safety perspective but also in terms of keeping the Island’s highways and public spaces looking smart and well presented.