Treatment of weeds

The weed spraying programme ensures all footway and carriageway hard surfaces that are on our Project Network are treated. This is best completed when weeds are at their strongest, during Spring and Autumn.

The weeds are sprayed with a non-toxic herbicide, which acts only on contact with the plant surface. This spot spraying is completed by our partner, who has expertise in weed control.

Following spraying the vegetation will need to be left in situ for over 2 weeks before removal is arranged. In some instances removal of the treated weeds will be brought to co-inside with routine street cleansing activities within the borough. This length of time is required to ensure that the treatment substance has time to activate effectively to control growth of the weed.

The treatment is cyclical, and occurs in the Spring and Autumn each year. Ongoing treatment to the same areas may be required to control significant weed growth. With ongoing improvement of the footways within the Borough, we will see a decrease in the number of weeds requiring treatment.

  • Why is there a 2-3 week delay between spraying and removal?

We follow an effective weed programme which is consistent with the ‘Well maintained Highways’ publication from the Department for Transport. The spring/summer 2016 programme for weed spraying by ward is available here.

  • Could the work be delayed?

 Yes the spot treatment of the weeds is very dependent on the weather conditions at the time of spraying. Glyphosate is sensitive to weather conditions (temperature and rainfall).

  • Is the weed treatment substance hazardous/toxic?

We do not use toxic, harsh or seriously damaging products to control weeds on our network, due to the danger of run-off or leaching into groundwater or protected water courses. We use a non-residual (does not remain in soils) herbicide which meets requirements set out by Environment Agency and Health & Safety Commissions Code of Practice. This substance is called Glyphosate, which only affects plants where there is direct contact.

  • Can we remove all the weeds?

No, our focus is weed control rather than weed eradication. Complete removal of weeds from our network in Hounslow is unrealistic and expensive.

  • Why do we need to complete more than 1 treatment per year?

Treatment is carried out at the most active growing times, therefore the weed spraying is undertaken when the weeds are at their strongest, and they are sprayed again if they have not died off.

  • Do you manage weeds on TfL roads?

No, TFL arrange for the spraying and treatment of the weeds on their network. We will clear away the detritus that is left following this treatment.

  • When are the weeds sprayed?

This is best completed when weeds are at their strongest, and will be programmed for Spring and Autumn.

  • Why do you have to spray chemicals onto the Highway?

The only way to effectively control weeds is to treat them with the recommended substance at the appropriate time; if weeds are allowed to grow the root system will affect the structure of the highway.

If you notice weeds in need of attention, please submit an enquiry online.



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