County council trials robotic grass cutters for maintenance
ROBOTIC grass cutters are being trialled across Hampshire to keep roadside verges under control.
The machines are being operated by Hampshire County Council and can navigate around obstacles and pre-set boundaries.
The county’s environment boss, Councillor Rob Humby, said the new pieces of kit could help slash costs and improve services. He said: ‘Using a robotic grass cutter means that fewer cones and other traffic management measures are needed on the roads, so disruption to traffic should be minimised.
‘We are always looking at how we can harness technology to improve what we do – whether it’s a more cost effective, quicker, or more efficient way to carry out highways maintenance.
‘In this case, using a robotic grass cutter means that less cones and other traffic management measures are needed on the roads, so disruption to traffic should be minimised.’
The cutters can be used in areas where traffic travels at higher speeds and where it would be more dangerous for workers to operate.
The council manages about 5,500 miles of road and 2,000 miles of roadside verges.
Grass and foliage is cut once a year on rural roads with swathes cut back to one or two metres depending on location, and urban verges are cut more often.
Outside of this, grass and foliage will be cut back where it may cause a safety risk because of reduced visibility.