Island Roads change approach to removing weeds from Isle of Wight highways

The new method ensures Island Roads maintains the required level of service in a way that looks after the environment

Island Roads is to adopt a new approach to removing weeds from the highway network.

The company will this year employ extra seasonal staff to remove weeds, wherever possible, by hand and traditional tools. Previously the approach to weed-removal was more reliant on the use of herbicides, often sprayed by contractors on quad bikes.

As well as moving away from the previous use of quad bike teams Island Roads will also from this year supplement the new ‘hands-on’ approach by using an organic-based herbicide where manual removal is not possible.

The new method has been agreed by Island Roads following local feedback including dialogue with local stakeholders and in in line with moves from within the highway maintenance industry to reduce herbicide use. Island Roads is required to undertake specified weed removal in its contract with the IW Council.

Dave Wallis, Island Roads operations and maintenance manager, said,“We keep our processes under review and are particularly keen to look how we can improve the way we do things. Customer feedback and industry best practice is a key part of our consideration.

“This new method will ensure we continue to maintain the required level of service and in a way that reflects our commitment to working in a way that looks after the environment.

“We have always carried out weed removal in a safe way using licenced products and standard industry practices but we are always prepared to do things differently as long as we continue to meet all the contractual and safety requirements.”

Cllr John Nicholson who liaises with Island Roads in his capacity as chairman of the Island’s Working Well Together Group welcomed the move.

He said: “I know that Island Roads takes its obligations very seriously and is always looking to do the right thing. It is a big organisation in Island terms but is prepared to try something different if it means it can do its job in a better way.”

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