Herts Highways

I received an e-mail inviting me to a meeting with Hertfordshire Highways in october. They asked what items Councillors would like to see on the agenda. I reflected on what residents have asked me over the last few months. Here’s my reply:

Weeds in the gutters

Hi Steve,

Thank you for requesting input. Please can I clarify whether this is a public meeting? I think there are many residents who would like to attend if so.

I would like us to cover:


1) Grass cutting. Specifically, I would like to understand how a contract based on keeping grass height within certain limits, as opposed to a contract based on a given number of cuts done to a specified cutting timetable (with areas cut within certain date parameters) can actually work. It doesn’t seem to be working. Thank goodness for a lack of rain this past month or I suspect we’d be knee deep in grass again as we were in May and June.


2) Weeding of pavements and the point at which roads meet the bottom of the kerb stone. No spraying of weeds or pulling of weeds seems to have happened in St Albans for a very long time.


3) How County and District can work better together to keep streets tidy. This really links in with point. 2. A resident of mine who also works for a borough Council has a sensible idea around tidying residential pavements and gutters and he drew my attention to Chester and Watford councils who are already doing this. We would write to a given street and let them know that we are coming to: clean the drains; sweep the edge of the road where it meets the pavement and do a weed spray. We would ask residents to please find alternative parking on X date (probably two weeks’ notice). Given that cleaning the drains and sweeping gutters are district responsibilities and the weeding is County we do need to work together. I know at District we have had issues with sweeping because of the weeds. Residents don’t care whether things are County or District, they just want it sorting out.


4)Tackling litter on our orbital roads. We need larger signs asking motorists to “please take your litter home” on our orbital roads. Also a timetable for litter picking on our orbital roads to coincide with when verges/central reservations are cordoned off for cutting. Thirdly, I and residents would like to see the orange digital displays asking motorists to take their litter home with them when there is no urgent information to display. On the first point, an SADC officer, Nigel Colyer, created signs which I pushed to go up and they did but they are too small. On the second point, I believe thanks to the persistence of one of my residents (Peter Walker) it had been agreed to do a litter pick four times a year. This does not appear to have happened lately.


Looking forward to hearing from you.