Weed Control - Highways

Surrey Heath Borough Council carries out spraying of highway hard surface areas on behalf of Surrey County Council who regularly consult with independent experts for advice on weed control and related issues.  This ensures that the practice is fully up to date with changes in legislation, herbicide recommendations and commercial use.

Most roadside grass cutting is now carried out by Surrey Heath Borough Council on behalf of Surrey County Council. All highway trees, shrubs and hedges remain the responsibility of Surrey County Council.

When are weeds treated?
Most residential roads in Surrey are treated once a year in the spring, with a second application later in the year. The sprays are timed to coincide with the weed growth for maximum control. The County Council monitors contractors involved in spraying herbicides.

Where are weeds treated?
All kerbs and gullies in residential roads are treated to control weeds. The back of the footway is treated when necessary, such as when the path is immediately adjacent to a wall or building. Surrey County Council are responsible for weed growth in soft verges and shrub areas.

How are weeds controlled?
Weeds are controlled using environmentally friendly but effective herbicides. When the herbicide is applied to a weed, usually by spraying, it works its way through the plant killing it completely in about 3 - 4 weeks. On contact with soil it breaks down into harmless substances.

This type of herbicide is known as a non-residual translocated herbicide. The herbicides used in Surrey have a very low toxicity to humans, animals and insects and can be used in areas open to the public and their pets. In areas close to water courses and reservoirs, herbicides are not used.