Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, who went to see the new tractor and trailer in action, said: “This essential work prevents overgrown, low hanging branches and foliage damaging buses and keeps passengers safe.
“In the past, highways teams have had to use a cherry picker to get to some of the higher branches, but the mobility of the new tractor and trailer system means there is no need for road closures. It means highways teams can make routes safe for buses while keeping disruption to drivers to a minimum.
“I’m pleased to see that Hampshire is continuing to buck the national trend with more people taking the bus to get around. This helps congestion at busy times and, in turn, helps improve air quality. It’s important we do what we can to continue to make bus travel an attractive and viable transport option for people who live and work in Hampshire, and this is just one of many ways we are helping to do this.”
Bus operators work with the County Council’s highways teams to identify hot spots for treating. Arrangements are then made for specialists to attend with a bespoke piece of equipment with a raised working platform from which operators can prune trees at the appropriate height. The vegetation is then collected in the unit and sent back to one of the County Council’s four highways depots for collection.
Two million more bus trips were recorded in Hampshire in the past year, according to the latest Government figures.
Tree or hedge problems can be reported via Hampshire County Council’s web pages: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/roadmaintenance/roadproblems/treehedge