The treatment of weeds is expected to get back on track this month following a washout summer.

The council uses a specialist contractor to treat weeds along 660 km of carriageway, 1,200 km of footway and 9km of car park perimeters.

The borough is zoned into 32 areas, with spraying beginning in the southerly part of the borough and ending in the north.

Weed spraying cannot be carried out during or immediately after rainfall because the treatment generally fails, plus the service must be stood down if rainfall is forecast.

Wind speed is another factor because spraying can only be carried out when wind speed is low.

Cllr Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, climate change and operations at the council, said: “When it comes to weed control, this summer’s consistently wet and unpredictable weather has caused us a double whammy setback.

“Firstly, weather conditions have meant our specialist contractor hasn’t been able to treat the weeds; and secondly, weeds have surged because they thrive in damp and moist conditions.”

Met Office records confirm that July was the wettest July since 2009 and the sixth wettest July on record for the UK.

Localised data from an Environment Agency weather gauge at Heaton Park also shows that dry spells have typically been less than three days, which gives insufficient drying time before and after spraying to make weed treatment feasible and effective. The gauge also indicates there have been only 12 dry days since June 18.

Cllr Quinn added: “It is frustrating that our weed control programme has been delayed this year, but we can’t control the weather and can’t spray if it is wet or windy, it’s as simple as that.

“We are doing all we can to get the treatment back on track during September, if weather conditions allow.

"And our contractor will use extra resources at weekends if ideal weather conditions are predicted.”

Treatment has been completed in Radcliffe town centre and the majority of Prestwich while other areas will be completed before the end of the month.