Lochside Garage

Road verges – saving money or saving lives?


ROAD safety is being put at risk in Fermanagh because of overgrown roadside hedges and grass verges, it has been claimed.
The overgrown hedges and some grass verges are impairing motorists views on corners and bends on some of Fermanagh’s roads it is believed because the Department of Infrastructure has reduced the amount of times it cuts.
Local MLA, Sean Lynch, has said that road safety is being put at risk due to reduced cutting of grass verges.
He said that unless the Department of Infrastructure reinstated the previous policy of two cuts per year, road safety is being put at risk.
 “The Department of Infrastructure has reduced grass cutting along roads side verges to one cut per year.
“In some cases that cut took place in early May. This grass is now over two feet high in places.
“Many rural road users across Fermanagh are experiencing difficulty in seeing oncoming traffic at many road junctions and on bends because of the length of grass. I have been inundated with calls about this problem from both drivers and pedestrians,” he said.
“The reality is that, unless the Department reverses its current position and implements at least two cuts, the visibility and safety of road users are being put at risk.
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure said there had been a policy of cutting up to two times a year, but last year the policy of cutting at least once a year was introduced due to lack of resources.
But it’s not just overgrown grass verges that are posing serious problems for motorists. Hedges too are being left uncut and Brookeborough councillor Sheamus Greene says the  the problem is ‘a danger to life’ and adds that it has been brought to the attention of several departments in recent times.
“They don’t seem to be physically able to do something to improve the hedges,” he said.
Mr Greene said he had numerous issues over the years and was continually in contact with the Department of Infrastructure.
He referred to one woman who had real problems driving out of her own driveway.
“She has to pull out a metre or two into the road before she can get a proper view of traffic coming.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department of Infrastructure said most roadside trees and hedges are on lands adjacent to public roads, and it is the responsibility of property owners or occupiers of those lands to ensure that such trees and hedges do not endanger or obstruct roads.

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