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Lengthsmans Scheme

Ripple Parish Council participates closely with Worcestershire County Council in the Lengthsman scheme. We employ a local contractor to undertake minor highway maintenance jobs, under our direction, and WCC reimburse us for about the first £2000 of our costs for each year.

The term Lengthsman dates back many years, and was originally the name given to someone who cared for a particular stretch of canal, railway or road.

The modern Lengthsman is a locally employed person who can really make a difference to the community environment by maintaining the roadside verges, traffic signs and roadside drainage, in good order. We also expand this role, to tackle many other maintenance tasks.

Lengthsman duties include:

  • Clearance of gully grates
  • Rod blocked drains
  • Dig out blocked gullies
  • Clean and adjust road signs
  • Clear verge drainage channels
  • Remove vegetation obstructing signs
  • Clear culvert and storm water headwalls
  • Clear footways to normal width

The Lengthsman's duties also include advising landowners and frontagers when their ditches need clearing, and to negotiate with frontagers for them to cut back overhanging vegetation.

Our Lengthsman is Malcolm Tomkins. You will see him around the Parish.  Malcolm is a multi-skilled local contractor, and in addition has received specialized Lengthsman training from WCC, and complies with our Public Liability insurance requirements. We also from time to time separately contract Malcolm to complete many of our Parish infrastructure maintenance projects.

The Lengthsman is not allowed to do maintenance on the surface of the highway, for example, fixing potholes. These items are reported by the Parish Clerk to WCC Highways, and then actioned by their specialist contractors.

If there are any highways/verges/drainage works that you think needs to be done, please contact our Parish Clerk, and the appropriate resource will be tasked to do the job.