BOSSES at Essex Highways are calling on landowners to keep vegetation near roads cut back.

Landowners with ditches and low-hanging trees near roads are being urged to ensure they are cleared and cut back this spring.

Carrying out the work before vegetation starts growing rapidly helps keep roads and paths clear, making them easier to use for residents.

Landowners are responsible for maintaining foliage on their land, even if it is close to a road or pavement.

That can help prevent flooding in wet conditions, and improves visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

Landowners should carry out work such as:

  • • Cutting back overhanging branches which reduce or block the view of the road, or could obstruct tall vehicles such as double-decker buses.
  • • Removing damaged or diseased trees in danger of falling on to the road or pavement • Trimming overgrown hedges obscuring road signs or streetlights.
  • • Clearing ditches on private land to avoid flooding during heavy rain.

Essex County Council says an extra £100,000 will go to Essex Highways to increase enforcement.

Highways director Tom Blackburne-Maze said: “The maintenance of private hedges and trees adjacent to our road network is crucial in ensuring the safety of all residents as they travel around the county.

“Essex Highways is responsible for some trees and hedges and will ensure those located on the public highway are maintained.

"However, anything on private land needs to be maintained by the landowner.

“We appreciate the work landowners do in maintaining these areas and would thank them for remembering that this is the best time to deal with any overhanging vegetation and ensure any ditches are clear.”