Council workers in Gateshead have been trialling new electrically-powered machinery – in a bid not to wake the neighbours.
Work on the central reservation and verges on the A184 Askew Road was able to start from 4.00am.
The busy dual carriageway which links the Redheugh Bridge with the A1 has housing close by and the council was concerned that the noise of grass cutting and other horticultural machinery so early in the morning might disturb local residents.
Instead of using the normal petrol-powered equipment, workers will be using a range of electrically-powered machinery currently on trial with Gateshead Council in a bid to keep the noise to a minimum.
Philip Hindmarsh, Gateshead’s interim Street Scene Director, says:
“We’ve begun trying out a range of battery-powered machines this summer to assess their long-term viability. They are an attractive proposition because they are cheaper to run than petrol-engined machinery and less polluting.
“However, they also have the benefit of being much quieter than machines powered by internal combustion engines, so they could be ideal for jobs like this – where we need to carry out work early in the morning but don’t wish to disturb people sleeping nearby.”
Gateshead Council is currently assessing a range of battery-powered equipment including grass cutters, strimmers, hedge trimmers and chain saws. The council has been operating hybrid and fully-electric vans and other vehicles for several years and regularly provides advice and feedback to vehicle and power train manufacturers and to other local authorities.