Community Highways Volunteering
We recognise that there are some services which are important to local communities, and that we no longer have the resources to carry out.
In order to respond to the needs of the community, and an increasing appetite from local communities to carry out some of these activities themselves, we are introducing a new initiative. This initiative enables community groups (through a town/parish council or residents association) to take on responsibility for the delivery of certain maintenance activities in their area.
Type of work which can be carried out
Community groups need to ensure that works will be carried out safely and in accordance with the law. Whilst this may preclude certain activities, many tasks will be possible.
Subject to agreement, the following types of work (which would usually be carried out by Surrey Highways) could be included in a volunteering scheme:
- Grass cutting
- Cutting back vegetation overhanging the road or footway
- Clearing footways of weeds/moss
- Removing vegetation from parapets or fences
- Signs, excluding street name plates (including reflector posts) for example: cleaning, minor repairs
- Drainage for example: localised ditching, cleaning channels
- Storm debris and litter
In some cases, hedges or ditches are not maintained by the council and would therefore not be eligible.
Safety of volunteers
Working on or close to the public highway (road, verge and footway) can be dangerous and it is possible to be seriously injured (or cause serious injury to others). All Surrey County Council (and contractor) staff undergo regular training and hold appropriate certification before carrying out work on the highway. In general, volunteers will not have benefited from the same level of training and are not experienced in working in close proximity to live traffic.
We can provide guidance and support information about how to do this, and all volunteers under the Council's guidance will be indemnified under the Council's insurance policy against claims for injury or damage to property.
Why are we doing this?
Aside from the resourcing issue faced by the Council, Surrey's Community Vision for 2030 contains the ambition that "Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities".
This ambition reflects our desire to preserve the county for future generations and recognises that people and organisations are collectively responsible for ensuring Surrey is safe, free from pollution and has open, green spaces to enjoy in the future.
Surrey Highways has developed the Community Highways Volunteer initiative to support residents and community organisations, to work together with the local highways team to enhance their local areas.
Please see the Community Highways Volunteering Policy (PDF) for full details, and then for an informal discussion and information about next steps, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be in touch within 28 days of receiving your email.