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Weeds can grow in between pavements and at the roadside, and can affect the amenity of our neighbourhoods, but also reproduce and grow quickly, causing damage to drains, pavement and road surfaces if not kept under control. Weed growth is usually affected by the weather with warm, damp conditions creating a surge. The most efficient way to tackle this is by undertaking a borough-wide annual treatment programme to attack any growth.

The herbicide used is only effective against weeds that it comes into contact with, absorbing through the growth that is visible above ground level causing it to die. Weeds will eventually 'die-back' and the residue is removed through routine scheduled street cleaning.

When we treat

Weed control is undertaken by a specialist, qualified contractor.

Using a suitable herbicide, similar to ordinary garden weed killer that won't harm humans, pets or the environment, weeds are sprayed providing the weather is not wet or windy.

Conditions should be dry and calm when spraying the weed killer and wet weather may delay the treatment or make it less effective in some areas.

Weed applications are generally undertaken via knap-sacking (use of a backpack containing the specialist herbicidal treatment) or through a mobile applicator.

How we treat

We undertake the treatment programme three times a year (usually spring, summer, and early autumn) to clear weeds and grass on all paved public highway surfaces. Each programme takes approximately five to six weeks to complete the entire network. Once sprayed, die-back will occur within 14 days, before the residue is removed through routine street cleaning activities.

Our officers complete both announced and unannounced inspections of our specialist contractor throughout each application period, each year. In addition, the contractor will undertake their own monitoring inspections.

How we use glyphosate

We strive to keep our pathways free from weeds and ensure they're accessible to all residents. To do this, we use a weed killer containing glyphosate, which is approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The weed killer is used only by trained professionals and in a diluted form. Specialist equipment ensures that it is only applied directly to the weeds and not spread unnecessarily across pavements, tree pits or other plants.

Health and Safety Executive - glyphosate FAQs