Road and pavement weeds to be eradicated

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News release: 27 February 2018

A new programme for clearing weeds from roads and pavements in the St Albans District is to come into force from next month.

The move is intended to improve the look of the area particularly during the growth seasons of spring and summer.

As part of the initiative, some rural roads which have not been treated for several years will be given a “deep clean”.

Weed treatment will also be better co-ordinated with street sweeping by contractor Veolia to make sure any detritus is removed quickly.

An update on the planned work is to be given to a meeting of St Albans City and District Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 27 February.

At present, Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) which is the highway authority has responsibility for weeds management across the District.

HCC agreed earlier this month to devolve part of that legal duty and associated funding to the District Council for a trial period of a year. (1) 

This follows a number of concerns raised by residents about the effectiveness of the current weed removal operation.

As part of the new programme, the District Council will continue to cover all the built-up areas that HCC concentrated on.

The frequency of weed treatment will increase from two to three treatments a year where necessary.

In addition, some other locations that have not been treated for some years will be included.

This unchecked growth has often acted as a litter trap, become very unsightly and led to the narrowing of footpaths. Up to ten of the most neglected areas will be subjected to the intensive “deep clean” in March.

In a further improvement, street cleansing will be timetabled to coincide with weed removal and treatment activities. The intention is to remove the debris as quickly as possible.

The District Council and HCC will monitor the impact of the new weeds management programme until March next year and take on board feedback.

It will continue with the new arrangements if they are judged to be a success. If the project does not meet expectations, responsibility for weeds will revert back to HCC.

Councillor Daniel Chichester-Miles, the District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “We are determined to get this right for the benefit of our residents as we want the District to look as good as possible.

“This new programme is our response to a number of complaints over the past couple of years about weeds growing on roads and pavements.

“It was clear action needed to be taken and we have stepped in to bring about some much-needed improvements.

“As the District Council, we are more aware of these localised issues than anyone else.  Now, we will have the responsibility to do something about it and I am sure we can rise to the challenge.”

Councillor contact:
Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, Environmental Portfolio Holder for St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819281
Contact for the media: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City & District Council 
Tel: 01727 296130; e-mail: 

1. HCC retains its statutory responsibility to control noxious / injurious weeds in line with the Weeds Act 1959.