Maintaining the Trees Along Highways
If you’ve ever sat on the top level of a double decker bus, you’ll no doubt have noticed lightweight tree branches brushing against the roof! If you’ve sat at the very front you might even instinctively duck when you see oncoming branches!
It is the responsibility of the local authorities to look after trees that grow on highway verges.
They make sure there is enough clearance under trees that overhang the highway to allow for the safe passage of high sided vehicles like double decker busses and lorries.
Oxfordshire County Council require at least 5.2m of clearance.
Trees also need to be sufficiently cut back from the edge of the carriage way to allow for the clearance of wing mirrors.
It’s not just trees that overhang roads that need maintaining. If it wasn’t for regular tree maintenance you might hit your head on low branches whilst walking along!
Trees and vegetation overhanging footpaths should be crown-lifted to at least 2.5m.
Meeting the Requirements of Local Authorities
Local authorities need to maintain trees on verges in order to keep the traffic moving and they need to do so in a way that they can be sure they are getting good value for money from tax payer funds.
They need to use a firm they can trust and that they know can deliver.
Oxfordshire County Council require firms working on trees next to public highways to have at least £10 million in public liability insurance, the skill to complete work in accordance with the current British Standard for tree work (BS3998), and be capable of following statutory regulation for working on the highway, notifying the correct departments and using the correct signage, guarding and PPE.
Because we meet all these requirements, delivering a high standard of work efficiently and safely (not just for us but for other road users), Oxfordshire County Council use Climbers Way Tree Care to carry out tree maintenance along their verges.
We were recently tasked with works across multiple trees including felling, removing branches, dead wooding, cutting back from roads and crown lifting over footpaths.
We’re Experienced with Planning Road Closures
Before we could start work, we need to consider the safety of road users, pedestrians and our own tree surgeons. We need to protect our tree surgeons and equipment from passing traffic and make sure that road users and pedestrians are not at risk from falling debris.
Sometimes this requires full road closures in which case we need to plan the closure, get approval from the council, advertise the closure and inform all the relevant people.
That’s exactly what we did when working with Oxfordshire County Council.
Increased Efficiency with MEWPs
In order to reduce the amount of time roads were closed for we need to work as efficiently as possible. To help us with this job we used our new Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP).
Our MEWP allows us to work up in the tree canopy without having to climb up it with our tools. Since it’s mounted to a van it’s mobile and perfect for carrying out work on multiple trees by the road side. It’s also great for working on diseased or dying trees where climbing could be difficult due to reduced limb strength. Since we can get tools and tree surgeons into the tree canopy quicker it helps us to complete our work more efficiently allowing us to offer better value for money to local authorities.
This was another project with Oxfordshire County Council we enjoyed being part of and we look forward to working with their tree team again very soon.