Weeds on the network

Hounslow Highways clears weeds from the public highway on behalf of the London Borough of Hounslow.

Until recently, these weeds were cleared with a herbicide called glyphosate. Over recent years there has been a focus on glyphosate and although it has not been removed for usage in the UK, Hounslow Highways have stopped using the substance as a weed control method for normal highway weeds. This is to support the Council’s Cleaner, Greener project and to promote biodiversity and encourage wildlife. In line with good environmental practice, we now clear all weeds manually without the use of chemical treatments with the exception of invasive weeds such as Japanese Knotweed and Mares Tail, which are very damaging to the environment and still need to be controlled with chemicals.

The new method of treatment includes a reinvesting of the resources that was previously spent on Glyphosate into providing:

  • Additional operatives to manually remove weeds as part of the two weekly ward-based cleansing schedule. This involves significantly increasing the number of operatives dedicated to the fortnightly based cleansing with a clear mandate to remove all litter, detritus, weeds and leaf fall as part of their programmed routes.
  • Dedicated teams with strimmers to support the ward-based teams
  • Trials into alternative methods to reduce the germination rate at specific locations.

It must be noted that manually removing weeds takes longer and requires additional time to complete each route effectively. Additional repeat visits may also be required to address regrowth. We ask that residents wait for the programme to reach each road but if it is felt that a location needs urgent attendance then a report should be submitted via Fix my Street via the link below.

The weed-clearing programme ensures all footways, footpaths and carriageways (pavements and roads) on the public highways that are maintained by Hounslow Highways are treated. The weed programme usually runs from spring to autumn, but is dependent on the weather, and usually corresponds with the cleansing schedule. The 2022 weeding programme has now commenced and can be viewed here.

The current programmed dates have been subject to change due to the additional cleansing requirements that took place during the Jubilee weekend events and the challenges that are associated with manual weed removal.

The dates have been updated to reflect the current estimated attendance date (week commencing) for each road. This is the first of two cycles of attendance to be completed on the listed locations with dedicated weed cleansing resource.

Additional dedicated teams will attend priority locations that require a faster treatment response. Outside of the weeding programme, the ward based cleansing teams will follow the standard ward based programme which can be found here (Hounslow Highways | Street Cleansing). So if your road is not on the Weeding Programme, then it will get attended to through the ward-based cleansing schedule.

However, if you want to report a location that cannot wait for the ward based teams to attend to then please submit a report at FixMyStreet (hounslowhighways.org) and an officer will be arranged to inspect the location.

  • Can we remove all the weeds on the public roads and footpaths?

No, our focus is weed control rather than weed eradication.

  • 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 and dead weeds that are left following this treatment.

If you notice weeds in need of attention, please submit an enquiry online via FixMyStreet, and the location will be inspected.

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