Overgrown hedges pose safety concern

Bernice Swift

CONCERN… Independent Councillor Bernice Swift

CONCERNS have been raised about the height of roadside hedges in the county and the danger they pose to vehicles such as school buses.

Independent councillor Bernice Swift has stated her concerns regarding uncut roadside hedges and brought these to a recent meeting of Fermanagh District Council.


Having met with Transport NI (formerly Roads Service) she demanded that the council write to DARD seeking their cooperation in having all landowners regularly cut roadside hedges and at the correct time of year, considering the problem it creates for high-sided vehicles such as school buses and other road users on the narrower B Class roads.

“While Transport NI have the powers to force landowners to cut hedges and many approaches are made to do so, it would reinforce the exercise if DARD were also to stress to landowners the need to maintain roadside hedges at the correct time of year (just as they do field boundaries). As this is all part of Good Farming Practice farmers should be reminded that failure to cut roadside hedges could result in their single farm payment being cut.”

In response Sinn Fein councillor Stephen Huggett said this matter was “nothing to do with DARD whatsoever” and said DARD were concerned with the inside of road hedges facing farm grounds.

“There is certainly no interest in the part of the hedge that faces onto the road. That is entirely the responsibility of Roads Service.”

Speaking as a farmer, DUP councillor Paul Robinson said Roads Service will contact the farmer to cut the hedge and give him a period of time to do so.

If the hedge is not cut then Roads Service will then cut it and charge the farmer.

The proposal was defeated when voted upon in council.


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