Grass verges are a key feature in some of our roads and contribute to the spacious green streetscape for everyone’s benefit.
Many of our grass verges have been damaged and destroyed by vehicles in recent years due to the rapid increase in vehicle ownership. There has also been a loss of grass verges when dropped kerbs have been installed to facilitate additional parking in front of properties.
Grass verges, along with pavements and roads are part of the public highway and come under the Highways department of Wokingham Borough Council, who are responsible for their maintenance.
Parking offences such as obstructions, still come under the jurisdiction of the Police, but since July 2018 parking on double yellow lines is dealt with by Traffic Management at Wokingham Borough Council.
Earley Town Council received the following information concerning grass verges from the Highways Inspector for Earley:
Parking on verges is a borough-wide issue and grass verges will only be repaired with topsoil and seed if they are considered to be in a dangerous condition. WBC just don’t have the budget to repair verges because they look unsightly, also WBC do not install bollards, as again they would then have to do be installed in every area.
When the highway safety inspections are carried out if a verge is noted dangerous, then the Highways Inspector will carry out repair work. If a verge is brought to our attention by a member of the public, the Highways Inspector will take a look, but will only carry out repair work if the verge has become dangerous.
As for building contractor’s vehicles, issues of damage/obstruction or general concerns can be reported to the Highways Development team who can liaise with the developers directly about such matters.
Any vehicles general parking on verges that are causing an obstruction such as, blocking driveways or footways or next to double yellow lines, then this would be a Police matter and should be reported on the non-emergency number 101.
Residents are now allowed to protect the grass verges in front of their houses by placing white markers or stones on the verges. By doing this the property owner assumes responsibility for cutting the grass on that verge, although in practice the WBC grass cutting contractors have sometimes been seen to do it anyway. Permit forms can be obtained from WBC. Members who have applied have reported obtaining the permit is a straightforward process.
ACER has liaised with our neighbouring residents association, MERA, in Maiden Erlegh, regarding the installation of protective grids in grass verges, which will allow vehicles to run over the grass without damaging it. A trial has been agreed in principle with WBC, but, as yet, no grid has been installed
ACER has taken a pro-active position on parking and on greenery visible from the public highway. Comments and constructive suggestions have been made at meetings with WBC traffic consultants, in consultations to the proposed new Local Plan, as well as the Governments Parking On Pavements consultation and in discussions and presentations to our MP for Reading East, Matt Rodda.